Neuse River Permit Laws sign now

We, the undersigned, support this petition which is requesting a change in the level of allowable pollutants into the Neuse River. We believe that it is in the interest of both the current and future generations that the laws be made stricter such that fewer pollutants are permitted in the water source.

The origin of our problem is wastewater. Companies discharge wastewater saturated with pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorous into the Neuse River daily. Nitrogen and phosphorous occur naturally. However, in concentrated amounts they prove malevolent to the natural equilibrium necessary for the health of the fish and heighten the growth of harmful bacteria such as pfiesteria piscida.

Pfiesteria piscida is a dangerous dinoflaggelate which eats fish from the inside out leaving sores on the fish. Its danger is not restricted to the fish but can affect the people involved in the fishing industry as well as their customers. Fishermen have, as a result of pfiesteria piscida, developed sores on their bodies where their skin was exposed to the water. Many, too, have experienced temporary memory loss.

The pfiesteria piscida is not limited to the water. Dr. JoAnn M. Burkholder discovered pfiesteria piscida and while working with the dinoflaggelate experienced temporary memory loss. Given the precautions taken by the lab the incident proved pfiesteria piscida has the capability of becoming airborne.

Fishing is a key industry where the Neuse meets the Pamlico Sound. The economy is impacted by the rivers high level of pollution. The communities profits in the area of recreational activities are threatened because of pfiesteria piscidas impending effects. Though pfiesteria piscida is worse at times than others it is a real and tangible threat.

Besides pfiesteria piscida, the people of North Carolina are more directly affected by these pollutants because the Neuse River is a water supply source for at least 200,000 people. There is technology to decrease the amount of waste water emptied into waterways. This same technology cleans pollutants from the wastewater that is dumped. Though many of the 400 permit holding companies that dump into the Neuse use such technology, the large quantity which they excrete retracts all their progressive cleaning efforts. Weyerhaeuser and the Raleigh Sewage Treatment Plant dump millions of gallons of wastewater into the river daily. Some of the dumped wastewater ends, as a result of bioaccumulation as well as bioconcentration, in humans.

We need to put a stop to this pollution by cutting it off incrementally. We can employ the use of waste exchange where one company uses another companies waste as their raw material.

The Clean Water Act was created as an ideal program to eradicate the waterways of all pollution by 1981 and to stop all dumping by 1985. By 1975 it was seen that such an idea was improbable. However, with combined efforts and improved technology, we can overcome the inconveniences and so preserve the waterway for the generations to come. We can change the regression of the Neuse Rivers health by making the permits, as well as the related laws, stricter.

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Bernadette OnealBy:
LGTBIn:
Petition target:
Governor Michael Easley

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