its monthly meeting, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority board voted to
forgo the utility's rights to drinking water in 11,000 acres of land in the
industrial northwest corner of New Hanover County.
comments from the Southern Environmental Law Center's Senior Attorney Frank
Holleman and Cape Fear River Watch's Executive Director Kemp Burdette spoke
during the public information portion of the meeting, condemning the agreement
between the utility authority and Duke Energy which was proposed in an attempt
to address aquifer contamination from the Sutton Power Plant's coal ash
of toxic chemicals in test wells near Duke's coal ash ponds indicate that
contaminants are spreading toward two wells currently supplying 100,000 gallons
per day to the nearby Flemington community.
and Burdette pointed to Section V of the agreement, which precludes the
authority from placing any wells on the roughly 17 square miles bordered by the
Cape Fear River to the west, the Northeast Cape Fear River to the east and the
county line to the north. The two wells currently in operation on that land
would be permanently decommissioned.
members of the board expressed discomfort with the provision, including New
Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White, who held up
discussions until the final sentence of Section V, which required that
"this provision shall forever survive the termination or expiration of
this Agreement" was taken out.
more than an hour of discussion, the board unanimously authorized the authority
to find a fix agreeable with Duke Energy then enter into the agreement with the
The full story will be printed on Thursday, Oct. 17.