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Thread: Green swamp

  1. #9
    swamplady
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    Things in the Green Swamp continue to be negative. FEMA floodplain maps show no floodplain in the area of the proposed landfill, though FEMA says their mapping is very general and not the type used for such specific purposes. Studies funded by Waste Management found 30% of the footprint in a flood zone. WM and its frontmen want the state to accept the FEMA maps. We all find it surprising that an area in the heart of a swamp known to be a floodplain suddenly isn't when the rest of the state is experiencing constant flooding.

    Another major concern is the spraying of pesticides. NC is moving to legalize drift (6ppm) and the EPA is now considering changing the labels currently banning use over water or where water may be present to exempt tree farms. Tree farms in forested wetlands such as the Green Swamp have thousands of miles of draining canals, all carrying polluted water to the coastal estuaries where our oyster population dropped 90% last year and crab population dropped 95%.

    Our website can be found at <www.swampwatch.org>. There's a new section on statistics that will show the plants and animals are not the only ones suffering.

    I have two sheets of contacts but perhaps the best might be the governor and the Environmental Management Commission along with some local papers (letters to the editor). Politicians go with the flow. So far, big money is doing all the talking. They need to hear from the people and lots of them. We'd appreciate any message you can send -- let them know there's something here worth protecting and that environmental laws need to be enforced.

    Governor Mike Easley, 116 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27603 [Citizens hot line 1-800-662-7952]

    Charles H. Peterson, Chair - EMC Water Quality Committee
    232 Oakleaf Drive, Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512

    The Brunswick Beacon, P. O. Box 2558, Shallotte, NC 28459
    Wilmington Star News, PO Box 840, Wilmington, NC 28402
    News Reporter 127 W. Columbus St., Whiteville, NC 28472

  2. #10
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    I hate to read such bad news. How can they say it's not in a flood plain? Anybody who say's that sure wasn't there in '84 when there was massive flooding, '96 when there was massive flooding, and defiantly not there in '99 when the 2nd most costly natural disaster in US history. Over a billion dollars of damage in the last storm alone. I was there for all 3 event's. I didn't even mention all the yearly flooding that for some reason gets worse and worse. I think I know why it keeps getting worse. All the draining of the Green Swamp. The water use to absorb into the ground. Now it just floods all the new drainage ditches.
    I'm going to cut this reply short for now. I'm getting to mad.
    We all know what we need to do. We have the address now lets send petitions and letters. This is what this forum was created for. Let's make our voices heard. Don't stand by and let one of the greatest cp site die.
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img]

  3. #11
    swamplady
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    Update -- The state Div of Solid Waste rejected the landfill application last Friday. Today a news article comes out saying the Div asked WM to expand and resubmit their application for the landfill in the Green Swamp near the Waccamaw River. Meanwhile, the floodplain maps are still in limbo, with a public comment period coming up shortly.

  4. #12
    swamplady
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    Hi all,

    Reigel Ridge plans to resubmit their application for the dump.

    In the meantime, we have just learned the FEMA comment period is already open -- the public comment period on the new FEMA maps opened last week, and runs through Christmas eve. There will be a public meeting sponsored by FEMA on Oct. 21st at 6:30 at the Columbus County Courthouse Annex for the purpose of FEMA formally presenting the new maps and for them to field questions/comments. Although one can make comments anytime during the comment period, this meeting will be an opportunity to deliver them personally in a public setting with media coverage.

    For those having comments or contentions regarding the new maps, there is a formal appeal process to have additional information considered. The only criteria in considering additional input is what is "best available information", as determined by FEMA reviewers in Raleigh and independent
    reviewers in Washington. Importantly, the county commissioners do not pass judgment on whether any proposed revisions are actually made to the FEMA maps. They can refuse to incorporate the finalized maps into the county ordinances, but this would make the county ineligible for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Additional information regarding reasons for revising the FEMA maps will be in an subsequent postings.

  5. #13
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    So what do we need to do. If you can think of anything that we can do let us know.

  6. #14

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    That is horrible [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img]

    I will also help in any way I can.
    I miss my old signature

  7. #15
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    I just recieved two letters from Gean Seay about a trial that was held in North Carolina regarding this landfill.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] We've been in court down here, challenging the 401 certificate for Riegel Ridge. I'll send you a copy of the report I did on it. The trial lasted four days and there won't be a decision for maybe 2 months.
    Trial Report:
    The trial ended Thursday afternoon. No decision was rendered. The judge instead asked for a summary of findings and conclusions including case law from each attorney to be in his hands within 30 days following their receipt of a transcript of the proceedings (which is estimated to take from 3 to 4 weeks). At that point, each side has a 7-day period to respond.
    In the last day of the trial, a couple of interesting facts were revealed. William Dreitzler, engineer and one of the principles of Riegel Ridge Landfill Consortium (later renamed Riegel Ridge Environmental) admitted that they had a contract with Waste Management from February of 1999 and that the Columbus County Commissioners were aware of it, something both parties have consistently denied. There is no question now that Waste Management wants this site for New York waste. They hold the New York contract. The NY landfill was closed just before 9-11 and a $54 million marine barge/export facility was constructed for waste with no place to go. Virginia's landfills are leaking and closed. We're next down the line and the US Supreme Court has ruled several times that refusing out-of-state waste violates the Interstate Commerce Laws. Once a private landfill is open, federal laws will force it to accept toxic waste from any place as long as it's delivered to a transfer station within the 100-mile radius. Although no permit to construct has been issued, the state has not only upgraded bridges and roads leading to the site but have actually paved miles of dirt roads through the swamp that were traveled by only a few people a day, all leading from Highway 17 to the landfill site. We have also recently heard that land has been purchased for a barge landing somewhere near the new bridge expected to lead to Midway Road on Highway 211 -- a straight shot from there to the landfill site.
    Dreitzler signed the 401 Certificate Application as representing Reigel Ridge and never mentioned Waste Management; and he has yet to furnish this relationship in writing to the NC Division of Water Quality (not notifying the Division of any changes is a violation of the 401). He will be reported to the licensing board for Professional Engineers for this breach in ethics.
    One of the landfill's chief witnesses on the last day was Ralph Heath. He testified under oath that a swamp was the best place in the world for a landfill of any type because any contamination would leak into the upper groundwater levels or drain into a nearby water body (such as Honey Island Creek) and move away from the site down the Waccamaw River. He testified that should four hurricanes back to back hit the landfill and devastate it, it would be of little concern because Honey Island Swamp to the North and upstream of the site consists of 25 square miles and the flooding from that area would dilute it so well that there would be no problem. He also felt an event of this type would only add about a foot more water to the site. On the subject of borrow pits (holes from which they would take dirt to cover each day's waste deliveries), he testified that the hole should be dug far enough down to open the aquifer so that rain and/or flooding could fill this hole and "recharge" the aquifer. (Keep in mind that this removes any natural filtering process from the water cycle and that the area is widely sprayed with a barrage of toxic chemicals by the paper industry.) He made light of Dr. Stanley Riggs' testimony and yet admitted that his only visit to the area had been that morning when he "drove a ways down Highway 211 and very, very carefully observed the level of water in the ditches." Dr. Riggs, of course, spent five years studying the Waccamaw Drainage Basin for the State and testified a landfill in the middle of the swamp would be a disaster. Dr. Riggs further testified that the swamp needed immediate attention if our area was to retain the economy and quality of life our water resources now afford us.
    [NOTE: As an observer and victim of the 500-year flood, I had a lot of trouble with Mr. Heath's testimony. I fail to understand how he can recommend opening an aquifer for drainage when the health department has a fit anytime your well is covered by any kind of flood water, let alone pesticide contaminated water -- and that's a well that's sealed! And although the current toxic spraying of the swamp is in violation of the Clean Water Act and the pesticide regulations of our state, it is a practice they continue to turn a blind eye to and one that will likely continue until enough people demand it stop. As for hurricanes adding a foot of water to the site, Floyd brought 20" of rain and that 20" became 26 feet in our area because the industrial drainage system in the swamp sends it down on us like a 50-foot water slide. It would be nice if we all lived in a bubble, protected from the world outside; but let's face it, that's not reality.]
    I must say the saddest thing about the whole trial was having to look across the courtroom at an agency created and paid for by citizens to protect the citizens of North Carolina as it sat in the same corner with industrial polluters and to watch them smiling and patting each other on the back as witnesses like Mr. Heath testified.
    Gean Seay
    The next letter is parcial testimony from Ralph Heath for the landfill. Gean
    seay also added her opinion to his comments.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]For a good laugh -- or cry as the case may be, from my notes on hydrologist Ralph Heath's testimony the last day of the trial:
    >He has not been involved in siting any landfills BUT has given 18 lectures across the country on how to do it.
    >Said you should not put hog waste in aquifer recharge areas; but place it where it will run off in streams and rivers so runoff won't contaminate deep aquifers. (Didn't say what this would do to recreational water or estuaries downstream)
    >Kept pronouncing Reigel as Rye'-gull.
    >Continually pronounced Waccamaw as Wack'a-maw.
    >Said the Wack'-a-maw had NO water shortage. This is something the fishermen and homeowners would be surprised to hear. Many of us have seen the river where you could walk down the river bed half a mile and never get your feet wet, and Dr. Riggs' 5-year study was funded by the state because they were worried about the river drying up.
    >Said covering 100 acres with a plastic liner would reduce the aquifer recharge by 32,000 gallons, all of which could be made up by digging through the confining layer of the borrow pits into the aquifer so that rain and other waters could recharge the system directly. Said not piercing this layer would actually impede the recharge of the swamp. He didn't venture an opinion as to what the presence of toxic residue throughout the pine plantations would mean to the surficial aquifer.
    >Said evaporation was better than transpiration and that the borrow pits (if dug into the aquifer) would mean the landfill would actually improve the aquifer.
    >Said it was absolutely impossible for contamination to move through the aquifer into the water supply of Lake Wack'-a-maw (the well is 10 miles to the west). A hydrologist told me that would depend on the drawdown of the town well, which would naturally increase in times of low water tables.
    >Said if anything, the landfill was OVER protective of the surface water and the groundwater, an excellent plan.
    >Said the 25 square mile Honey Island Swamp behind the landfill would flood and dilute any contamination should a disaster occur. I'm not certain that Honey Island is 25 square miles. Our records show the entire Green Swamp to be approx. 35 square miles and I don't believe Honey Island covers that much area.
    >Said 4 hurricanes back to back would most likely not produce more than a foot of water on the landfill site.
    >Said he had not visited the actual site but had "ridden a ways down Highway 211 that morning and very, very carefully observed the depth of water in the roadside ditches and it was what he expected."
    And this man was Waste Management's wetland expert. He would have been credible maybe 40 years ago but hopefully not today.

  8. #16

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    Oh, this is not encouraging news at all! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img] I say we all meet at Green Swamp & stage a sit in. Climb a tree. Throw our bodies in front of bulldozers. Something! Obviously, I don't know just what it is we can do. Write to North Carolina's legislators? And say what?
    Anybody? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img]
    If nothing else, perhaps we might like to see it while it is still there... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]
    Restore our biosphere, create a new culture of kindness.

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