Archive for April, 2015

SMALL GROUP GETS BIG THINGS DONE AT HIBERNIA’S FIRST VOLUNTEER DAY

Amidst the tug-of-war over water transfers and the like that has dominated the Kerr Lake news lately, another tug-of-war took place this past Saturday where a group of loyal volunteers and Kerr Lake state parks personnel whipped back some extra tasks during a Volunteer Work Day at Hibernia State Recreation Area.  Although some other parks like Kimball Point have had such days, this was a first for the park, one of two NC parks on the western shores of Kerr Lake.  The event was sort of pushed to get going, time wise, but a hearty group of parks pros and determined park supporters set out to complete the “To Do” list.

DSC00639 (800x600)

With a constant wind and the threat of rain that when it came, actually did little more than drizzle, the dedicated bunch squared off at 9:00 AM Saturday morning with the list of “To Do’s” and divided up into teams.  “I was a team of one on the wire brush detail,” said volunteer Linda Timberlake who scraped off paint from the handrails of the old concession stand site.  Volunteer Tom Elmore and park employees Bob Smith and Will Ruark fixed a drainage problem at the picnic shelter, planted new campsite signs, tended bushes and shrubs and other tasks.

DSC00645 (800x600)                DSC00646 (800x600)

Then there were the tree cutters and the “I must cut limbs so they don’t hit RV’s and trailers” gang.  Assistant Superintendent Lee Amos and park worker Megan Cottrell got out chain saws and logged for a time as camper Larry Matthews headed for a job he’s wanted to do for years, trim back pesky limbs.  Chief Ranger Elliott McDowell hoped to get up six to eight new park information signs, but he got 12 up with volunteers Frank Timberlake, Harold White and park folks Harold Duncan, John Abbott and later on, Chris Curl.

From park maintenance, Sandra Hargrove and Tyrone Williams took on tasks and helped wherever needed.  Later in the day Joel and Lisa Bailey arrived and that’s when the heavy duty power washer and super scrub went into effect at the park bathhouse as Larry Matthews cleaned out the rafters.

DSC00654 (800x600)                 DSC00660 (800x600)

DSC00657 (800x600)                 DSC00658 (800x600)

Even when the rain came, the determined small band carefully watched radars in order to finish the tasks.  “We did not get enough head start to publicize the Volunteer Day,” said Kerr Lake Park Watch spokesperson Frank Timberlake, “but you surely cannot tell our group was small by all the deeds that were done.  And we think so very highly of these parks people, several who told us they appreciate the fact that we care so much.  It was a great day!”

DSC00644 (800x600)                  DSC00650 (800x600)

It would have been nice if the event had been publicized more and it would have been nice to have had more volunteers.  But it was Joel Bailey who expressed the success of the event maybe the best, “You can’t put a price on a day like today.  The park staff gets good help and we the park users get to help on some things with a little more detail.  By working together friendships are created or grown.  I hope the state folks up the line are paying attention because we’re all willing to do this again.”

Lisa Bailey adds, “I want to see us have a volunteer day before the poison ivy and crawlers come out in the Spring and maybe even before the parks open here at Kerr Lake.”  Volunteer Tom Elmore added as the work day came to a close, “You can tell how proud everyone is here and you can see the good that’s been done.”

DSC00662 (800x600)

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

Leave a Comment (0) →

THERE’S STILL TIME FOR YOU TO WRITE YOUR KERR LAKE WATER WITHDRAWAL COMMENTS TO NC DENR

PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE IBT  or water transfer from Kerr Lake can still be made through April 30th.  You may simply send an email with your views to: kim.nimmer@ncdenr.gov.

Below are the three goals of the Kerr Lake area group, Preserve Our North Carolina Lakes Community and the message points that the group, the RRBA, KLPW, the Sierra Club and other groups all hope that citizens will use in their comments.

PHOTO_20150423_194849

Your email should speak to the proposed Interbasin Transfer (IBT) Certificate for the Kerr Lake Regional Water System.  NCDENR will be accepting comments regarding the proposed certificate through April 30, 2015.  All comments received will be part of the public record, and will be included along with responses prepared by NCDENR as part of the Hearing Officer’s Report to the NC Environmental Management Commission.

The Environmental Management Commission is the decision-making body for the proposed IBT certificate.  NCDENR anticipates the final determination will be made at the Environmental Management Commission’s July 9th meeting.

Posted in: KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - WATER RELATED, KLPW - Water Safety, Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

KERR LAKE WATER WITHDRAWAL APPROACHES DANGER LEVEL

It’s the 11th hour for Kerr Lake and the fast track, bulldoze effort against the citizens of Granville, Vance & Warren as the NC House meets tonight to push through HB 795 which nulls and voids petitions, public outcry and all the other rules that were previously changed to eliminate public scrutiny of the 10-million gallon interbasin transfer of water from Kerr Lake to Franklin County and beyond. “We say, the action of the water transfer is legal, but it is certainly not ethical as I mentioned in a citizen grassroots meeting in Henderson Thursday night, and as far as the actions of the General Assembly, I am not sure passing laws to keep the public’s legal right of review in itself is legal, and if those actions like tonight’s quick almost secret vote on HB 795 are legal, they shouldn’t be,” said KLPW’s Frank Timberlake. “I’ve never seen government work its tail off to push the public’s constitutional rights away. Where the hell is the ALCU and the NAACP? Why are they standing still for these poor counties to get thrashed by big money and politics like this?” Industries in Franklin County told Governor McCrory they must have water or they will move, and the Governor then told the secretaries of the Departments of Commerce and DENR that getting the Interbasin Transfer must occur in a hurry and to get legislators “to do what they have to do” to make it happen. Timberlake added, “We told the City of Henderson people the other night that they ought to slow the process and give consideration to having a full Environmental Impact Statement. They had no response.” “With a void of 31 percent of the capacity of Falls Lake when it was built, what should be done is a new higher dam with a highway across it that should be put at Falls Lake and there’s the Triangle’s water for the next 50 or 60 years. But you won’t hear a Triangle official recommend that,” added Timberlake. Unless Representative Nathan Baskerville and Senator Angela Bryant, neither who can be found, NC Attorney General Roy Cooper, or some judge intervene on behalf of the citizens of those counties and the group, “Preserve Our North Carolina Lakes Community” the NC General Assembly will quietly pass HB 795 tonight and allow no public comment or input. The lake preservation group is now attempting to ask the US Justice Department to intercede. One of the “ordinary citizens” working to keep Kerr Lake’s water from being taken by the KLWRS (City of Henderson) and selling it for profit outside the three county area is farmer John Hyson who sent out this urgent message this morning, “Thank you for attending the public meeting or signing a petition about what is being done to our lake. Congratulations.  They have heard our voices, because they are now trying to pass more legislation in a night session today to revise the rules yet again – even before our April 30 deadline.   They have decided to re-write some of what they sneaked through last November to now say any Inter Basin Transfer under 20 Million Gallons per Day can now be done with the stroke of a pen.   (HB795 to pass GS113A-4{2A}). The trick is that one sentence, “The failure of that agency to provide comments….”   Passed by default!  No Environmental Impact Statement.   No announcement to the public, much less public hearings.  No economic review. They have also devised this bill so that there is no public input allowed on this bill itself.   The Sierra Club which has been active for 44 years in partnership with our Legislature was told they could have only one minute to speak about the potential damage of these changes. We have got to stop this House Bill #795!  Please take the time today to call/email our representative/senator to ask them to please support our poor counties versus the rich.  Ask them to get more information before they vote.  Do not neglect Tier One Counties.  Do not cancel Environmental Impact Statements from DENR review.” Hyson added the contact info for legislators: Angela Bryant            919-733-5878    Angela.Bryant@ncleg.net Nathan Baskerville    919-733-5824     Nathan.Baskerville@ncleg.net   Please also call the sponsors of this bill, all from Tier 2 Counties! John Torbett {Gaston}        919-733-5868   John.Torbett@ncleg.net Mike Hager  {Burke}           919-733-5749   Mike.Hager@ncleg.net Chris Millis  {Onslow}          919-733-9664   Chris.Millis@ncleg.net   The gist of all of this is that the government of the State of North Carolina being the Governor and the General Assembly, for selfish reasons, maybe possible gain, have denounced the legal rights of the citizens of Granville, Vance and Warren Counties and have damned the voice of the citizenry. Is there not one person who knows a judge who will emerge from the third branch of the government to help those people and all of us who try to help Kerr Lake? Tick, tick, tick….

Posted in: KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - WATER RELATED, KLPW - Water Safety

Leave a Comment (0) →

LACK OF MEDIA COVERAGE FORCES LAKE GROUP TO WORK EVEN HARDER AGAINST KERR LAKE WATER TRANSFER

 

They are not public speakers.  They are not tree huggers.  They are ordinary citizens, who farm, nurse, teach, promote Vance County, build houses and on and on, just citizens whose voices have been muffled as they try to slow precious water being taken from their homeland and sold for profit to more populous and thriving areas.  They want to be heard, they want their area around Kerr Lake to grow and prosper.  That’s it.

One must wonder who stifled the media coverage of a citizen’s group effort in Henderson last night. Ordinary folks are trying to slow a government-pushed fast track push to send Kerr Lake water outside of its service area.Those of us with Kerr Lake Park Watch saw WRAL extensively interviewing a City of Henderson official, and then, leave. KLPW’s Frank Timberlake was a speaker last night and sent his opinion to WRAL’s Adam Owens.

“Adam Owens – YOU DIDN’T EVEN STAY FOR THE MEETING! Yours is pitiful coverage of the Kerr Lake Water Withdrawal dilemma. You interviewed the bureaucrat and left. It’s not a debate. It is a battle of citizens against bureaucracy. It is the City of Henderson for profit, and the State of North Carolina for Tier 3 growth, trying to circumvent the intent of the law and to railroad through the Interbasin Transfer of 10 million plus gallons of Kerr Lake water to Franklin County and Raleigh, leaving the potential growth water for Granville, Vance and Warren Counties depleted. Understand that the City of Henderson gets over $2 million dollars a year for the water it now sells Franklin County, but Henderson spent nearly half a million building a pipeline to Franklin County, yet the west side of Kerr Lake doesn’t have any of the KLWRS’s water.


PHOTO_20150423_191241
More facts…

The truth is those 60 or so people last night at the Vance County Commissioners’ Room are trying to get signatures to stop the State of North Carolina’s DENR Division of Water Quality to approve the withdrawal, a process that was kept quiet and reduced from holding 3 public hearings to 1 and from advertising in 47 papers to 3 and the one used to promote the process to inform Vance, Granville and Warren citizens was the Mecklenburg Sun in Clarksville, VA, go figure.

 

So the band of citizens you left early last night are left with a half-ass story and must get petitions signatures without any strong media help, they must call their legislators and push not to stop the water transfer, but to halt it long enough for any Environmental Impact Study to be properly completed. Then they must decide if their citizen group, “Preserve Our North Carolina Lakes Community” along with the RRBA will take legal action.



PHOTO_20150423_194849
 

All this is about supplying water to Franklin County whose big industries have pulled Governor McCrory’s strings and said, “More water or we go.” For the people in the Kerr Lake area, once the water is sent elsewhere, the pipe will never again be cut off. The people of Vance, Warren and Granville look sadly down at the greedy City of Henderson which operates the Kerr Lake Water Resource System and say to all, “Let them build and expand their businesses here.”

If you want more info from the people and ordinary citizen side, go to the website www.Ej-pp.org. WRAL’S story says there’s a July deadline. The real deadline to stop the water sale and transfer is April 30th, only six days.

Adam, your excuse for leaving early as the group’s leaders begged you to stay, was that you needed some video of the lake. How many hours of B-roll video of Kerr Lake does WRAL have?

I fully expect to see you named as one of the Governor’s spokespeople. That’s what happens to reporters when they lose their objectivity.”

Understand that we at Kerr Lake Park Watch are as much opposed to the fast track approach and rule bending as we are the lack of an Environmental Impact Study being performed. Governor McCrory told us that he would cut red tape but he did not mention that he would lead the effort to circumvent the law or have the laws changed to make that happen, lessening citizen involvement.

It’s your lake up there, take it back or lose it.

Posted in: KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - WATER RELATED, KLPW - Water Safety, Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

CORPS SAYS WATER ALLOCATION ALREADY MADE – RRBA SAYS WATER SHOULDN’T LEAVE ROANOKE RIVER SYSTEM

The US Army Corps of Engineers has clarified its position to Kerr Lake Park Watch on water withdrawal from Kerr Lake by KLRWS, saying that the allocation including the 10 million gallons of water per day, was approved years ago.

After KLPW asked about the allocation in yesterday’s Corp of Engineers’ water resource meeting, Tony Young, Water Management for the Corps’ Wilmington District gave KLPW an answer to ‘why this is not a Corps’ issue, “The City of Henderson has had a water use/storage agreement with the federal government dating back to the mid-1970s, allowing withdrawals up to 20 million gallons per day (MGD) from Kerr Lake. In 2006, that water-use agreement was converted to a water-storage agreement following a detailed study. That study took into account that most of the water use would be consumptive (i.e., not returned to Kerr Lake) and evaluated the impacts of a 20 MGD withdrawal (with no return) on lake levels, power generation, and other project purposes. The proposed interbasin transfer by the Henderson/KLRWS does not involve any additional storage or increased withdrawals above and beyond those already taken into account in their current water storage agreement with the Corps. Therefore, there is no federal action required on the part of the Corps, as Henderson is not requesting a change to their existing storage agreement. Requests for interbasin transfers are processed and approved or denied at the state level.”

Gene Addesso, President of the Roanoke River Basin Association, resounded the fact, “Unfortunately Frank, the Corps has already, (years ago) allocated water supply to the City of Henderson, which is in the basin, (20 mgd per day), which is enough to cover the IBT. The Corps is not involved in the IBT.”

“It is a State of NC issue. Allocation does not approve or disapprove an IBT. The problem resides with the KLRWS selling water out of the Basin and NC allowing it, if they do.”

Addesso went on to provide Kerr Lake Park Watch with a more refined statement of why the RRBA and others want the process slowed down, if not halted. The following is an upcoming RRBA newsletter explanation of the organization’s stance:

Kerr Lake Regional Water System Inter-Basin Transfer Request

RRBA Comments

The Duke Environmental Law & Policy Clinic has been working with the Roanoke River Basin Association on comments regarding the Kerr Lake Regional Water System’s (KLRWS) proposed inter-basin transfer (IBT) project. The KLRWS seeks to increase the transfer of water from the Roanoke River basin to the Tar River, Fishing Creek and Neuse River basins from the grandfathered amount of 10 millions of gallons per day (mgd) to a total of 14.2 mgd by 2045 in order to meet projected future water demands in the receiving areas. In January 2015, KLRWS submitted an environmental assessment to the Division of Water Resources, which issued a Finding of No Significant Impact, thus forwarding the project to the public comment stage.

The Duke Law Clinic has found that the Division of Water Resources incorrectly allowed for an environmental assessment (EA) to be conducted instead of a more complete environmental impact statement (EIS). In North Carolina, any IBT above 2 mgd requires certification by the Environmental Management Commission and any major river basin transfer requiring such certification mandates an EIS. An EIS would include a comprehensive analysis of direct, secondary and cumulative impacts resulting from the transfer, such as to the 9 threatened and endangered species (Atlantic Sturgeon, Roanoke Logperch, Southern Bog Turtle, Dwarf Wedgemussel, James Spinymussel, Tar River Spinymussel, Small-anthered Bittercress, Small Whorled Pogonia and Smooth Coneflower) that are found in the source or receiving basins. On the contrary, the approved EA lacked any such concrete analysis supporting its claim of no significant impacts. The Clinic and RRBA board are thus preparing their final comments on the project (due April 30th), officially opposing the IBT until a proper EIS is performed.

On behalf of the RRBA

By: Emily Blanchard

Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic

 

The CORPS says it’s already approved. The ROANOKE RIVER BASIN ASSN says allocation is not the issue: Selling water to outside of Roanoke River Basin and bypassing/misusing the rules are the issues.

Our questions: Should the Corps of Engineers rethink their Kerr Lake allocations if LOCAL authorities are going to sell off water to other areas?

Is the Kerr Lake Regional Water Resource System setting up the Vance-Warren counties for a local water depletion later on for the quick buck now?

There is a meeting tomorrow night organized by the “Preserve Our North Carolina Lakes Community” at the Vance Commissioners’ Room at 122 Young Street in Henderson. It starts at 6:00PM.

You can go or not. You can get involved or not. But once you give it away, you cannot get it back.

Just ask any Indian.

Posted in: KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, KLPW - WATER RELATED, KLPW - Water Safety

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 2 12