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KERR LAKE AREA – Recycle Your Christmas Trees into Fish Habitat!

BOYDTON, Va. – Once again the US Army Corps of Engineers at John H. Kerr Reservoir will be accepting used live Christmas Trees until January 31st to be recycled into fish habitat.  Designated drop off areas will be located at four Corps boat ramps/day use areas located throughout Mecklenburg County.  The four areas that will be accepting trees this year are:

  • Visitor Assistance Center by North Bend Park at Kerr Dam
  • Rudds Creek Day Use Area, on Highway 58 just outside Boydton
  • Longwood Boat Ramp, on Highway 15 South, outside of Clarksville
  • Bluestone Boat Ramp, on Highway 15 North, outside of ClarksvilleEach of these areas will have designated marked off drop locations.

At the end of January the Corps will take the donated trees, bind them together, and sink them for fish habitat. Some parks already have a marked fishing reef buoy nearby which is where the trees will be placed. “These trees are some of the best forms of underwater structure. Crappie, bass, bluegills and other fish will often use the trees to congregate in and around,” according to Billy Hoffer, Conservation Biologist at Kerr Reservoir.

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

Please drop off your Christmas tree, free of decorations, to one of the four locations above so we can keep trees out of our landfills and improve our fishery here at John H. Kerr Reservoir.  Also, please remember that it is a violation to place structures in the lake without permission.

If you have any questions or concerns about this project feel free to call Billy Hoffer, Conservation Biologist at the Corps Visitor Assistance Center at (434) 738-6143 extension 6159.

Kerr Lake Park Watch adds, take the kids along to the parks when you discard the Christmas tree.  It’s a great time to take a brisk walk around the park and the area!

Posted in: KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

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CORPS OF ENGINEERS APPROVES & ENACTS QRR PLAN FOR KERR LAKE

Groups that support best use practices for Kerr Lake and the Roanoke River Basin are smiling this week as the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced the approval of the QRR Plan that will allow more responsive actions for handling future huge weather and subsequent flood events.  Stakeholders, representing groups like the RRBA (Roanoke River Basin Association), Kerr Lake Park Watch, Vance County Tourism Development Authority and others, like the idea of Kerr Lake being kept at a more consistent level by the QRR or Quasi-Run-of-River Plan. And downstream, supporters want the water to come through at a faster pace and move on out quicker.

Kerr Lake Dam - Lower side USACE PIC

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Photo

With recent heavy weather/rain systems threatening this past Memorial Day’s recreational activities like camping in the parks around Kerr Lake, several groups pushed to have special action taken by the commanding colonel of the Corps, but such action is rare and it did not happen. From the viewpoint of Kerr Lake Park Watch and tourism supporters, when park users can’t get to or on a site due to high water, particularly around a holiday, that is difficult in a number of ways.

During the Memorial Day holiday such an occurrence happened when some campers were moved and others were sent home. Although most of the time there are an abundance of camping sites that number about 1,200 all the way around the lake, there is a critical shortage of electric and water sites which nearly all campers want nowadays.   Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Frank Timberlake was one of those who had to be moved during the Memorial Day holiday, “We all were eagerly awaiting some intervention for larger water releases by Wilmington (Corps) or both the approval and adoption of the QRR and neither happened then. So I am personally watching the water creep to within 20 feet or so of my camper after I had already moved once.”

Switching gears from camper to parks promoter, Timberlake said of the Corps’ adoption of QRR, “This is monumental and one of the most positive flood operational changes that I’ve ever witnessed for the John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir. We realize how many different and differently postured stakeholders are involved in the day-to-day operations of Kerr; there are flood managers, power companies, agricultural and forestry entities, fish and wildlife representatives and groups that specifically care about the parks around the lake and groups that are focused on the river(s). The Corps has listened. The Corps has responded. And many, many have won. Our joy is quieted a bit by the recent passing of Andrew Lester, the Executive Director of the RRBA who pushed diligently for this and other good things for the Roanoke River basin. I wish he could have seen it enacted.”

In a statement, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers outlined the specifics of QRR or moving the water through the system at a more realistic amount and pace, “Previously during really wet times, like we experienced this past winter, long periods of 20,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) flood releases from Kerr and Roanoke Rapids Dams were possible,” said Wilmington District Water Management Chief, Tony Young. “Prolonged 20,000 CFS flood releases were causing harm to the lower Roanoke floodplain forest ecosystem due to long periods of standing water, as well as impacting timber operations and recreational access to the floodplain. Only when Kerr lake levels were extremely high could flood releases be further increased to 25,000 and eventually 35,000 CFS, but this did not occur very often.”

Young added that under the QRR plan, flood releases will more closely mimic the natural inflows coming into Kerr on a weekly basis and may be increased above 20,000 CFS on a more frequent basis-up to a maximum of 35,000 CFS for larger storm events. While these higher releases will inundate a larger portion of the floodplain, these higher releases will be made for a much shorter period of time, allowing the river downstream of Roanoke Rapids to return to normal much sooner. In addition, lake levels in Kerr may not get as high and will return to normal levels sooner, allowing Kerr to better handle the next flood event and reducing recreation impacts.

Timberlake added that wildlife downstream was featured in discussions but Kerr Lake wildlife factors in as well, “We saw firsthand Memorial Day weekend that when we lost campsites to water at 308 (feet above mean sea level – 300’ is normal full pool) we also saw a huge amount of displaced wildlife: deer in unexpected places, more raccoon, fox and snake sightings. But we’re all going to take a big step forward now with QRR as the water will be more manageable, so shall the shores and the parks on them, thus making Kerr Lake Park Watch a group of happy campers.”

 

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

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VOLUNTEER DAY FOR HIBERNIA MAY 21HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO THE WEATHER FORECAST

The headquarters for Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas at Satterwhite Point has announced a Volunteer Day at Hibernia on Saturday, May 21st.  “We know it’s a little late and short notice, but there are a lot of mitigating circumstances with staff moves and some maintenance projects,” said Assistant Superintendent Lee Amos, “But we are hoping that members of Kerr Lake Park Watch and the general public will turn out for a while to help and that the weather will cooperate.”

Projects on tap for this year’s Volunteer Day include putting up some signs on some trails, recently refurbished by the maintenance and park personnel.  Several display cases that will house, for educational and informational purposes, both historical and environmental items and info have been built along some of Hibernia’s trails.

Park staff also hopes to work on the Hargrove family cemetery in which is buried the original owner and builder of Hibernia.  The cemetery needs some attention along with metal fence painting.  Real go-getters can bring limb trimming equipment and help push back limbs from campsites.  Last year’s successful Volunteer Day prompted a video about how a few can do much:  KLPW 2015 VOL DAY at HIBERNIA

Volunteers are badly needed, particularly with a short invite window.  Volunteers are asked to be at the picnic shelter between Area 2 and Area 3 on the main park road at 9:00 AM, Saturday, May 21.  For more information, contact the park office at (252) 438-7791.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Park Entertainment/Events

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OFFICIAL “FOR” COMMENT ON QRR PLAN FROM KERR LAKE PARK WATCH SENT TO CORPS

Kerr Lake Park Watch has sent its comments for the official record to the US Army Corps of Engineers.  “This is a precise and concise document in favor of the QRR (Quasi-Run-of-River) Plan, partly from us and partly from the RRBA,” said Frank Timberlake, Kerr Lake Park Watch spokesman.  “We have a number of people who have copied the short version off of our Facebook page and the public is certainly free to use this example, but it must be sent to the Corps by tomorrow night at 11:59.”

The Corps email address is:  eric.k.gasch@usace.army.mil

Mr. Eric Gasch, QRR Comments
US Army Corps of Engineers

Although we have not been in touch with the entire membership of the 400+ persons of Kerr Lake Park Watch, the majority of those reached concur that we as a group are in support of the Corps’ adoption of the QRR (Quasi-Run-of-River) Plan.  As the Public Affairs Lead, I am requesting that our opinion and comments go into the official comments record.

COMMENT:

The Roanoke River’s flow has been significantly affected by three dams near the Virginia/North Carolina border. Current dam operations hold large amounts of water in place for unnaturally long periods of time during wet years – causing long periods of flooding, damaging timber, wildlife, and fish. In turn, people who live along the river and depend upon it are also hurt. Since 2000, many conservation stakeholders, resource agencies, local property owners, and other conservation partners have worked with the Corps of Engineers (COE) to improve dam operations at Kerr Reservoir, reducing consequences to people and nature. Today the COE is proposing changing its operations.

Our first reasons are of course, based on recreational and tourism motives.  We feel that QRR will provide:

Improved Conditions in Public Parks & Public Areas – Controlling the flow of the Roanoke River through Kerr Lake using the QRR Plan would help prevent as much water as now that gets onto public parks lands.  If water levels did elevate to where it covered public areas, the use of the QRR plan would get that water off faster.

Improved Conditions for Public and Private Roads Near Flood Prone Areas – With the QRR Plan in effect, the COE could move flood waters off of public roadways and private areas much faster which has to be a huge factor towards public safety not to mention erosion and the costs of road, bridge and public area repair.

Improved Timber Stands Scientific research shows that continuing current operations, with long periods of flooding, will lead to loss of valuable hardwood trees such as oak and hickory. Over time, the forest will convert to trees with less value on the timber market such as sweet gum and red maple. Changing dam operations will reduce flood times and allow oaks and other hardwoods to flourish, which is good news for property owners along the river.

More Time on the River and in Forests of the FloodplainCurrent operations, with their high water levels, block access to the floodplain for long periods of time. Changing the dam operations will give anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts more time to enjoy the area. That’s good news for recreational users of the river; it is also good for the many businesses that cater to recreational users.

More Food for WildlifeAs oak trees disappear so do their acorns, which are a major source of food for deer, squirrels and other wildlife.  Changing the dam operations will keep the acorns dropping and ensure continued abundance of wildlife, which is good news for hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.

Improved Water Quality Holding large amounts of water behind dams or in the downstream floodplain for long periods of time leads to lower levels of oxygen in the water. The fish and other animals are hurt, particularly in hot summer months. Changing the dam operations will improve oxygen in the water – reducing fish kills and ensuring that fish thrive in the Roanoke, which is good news for anglers.

Reducing ErosionLong periods of flooding lead to banks eroding and collapsing. Changing dam operations will reduce shoreline erosion on the river and in the Reservoir, which is good news for property owners.

Increasing Flood StorageCurrent operations result in sustained high reservoir levels, reducing capacity for storage of additional storm events.

Again, please see that my supportive email for the passage of the QRR plan is included in the record and counted as a very loud, “FOR!”

Thank you and best wishes,

Frank Timberlake
Lead, Public Affairs
KERR LAKE PARK WATCH
Office (919) 269-4300
Cell (919) 805-0055

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

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SCOUTS LAUNCH BATTLE AGAINST PESKY LEFTOVER FISHING LINE AT KERR LAKE

North Carolina State Parks and Recreation – Kerr Lake

Ever gotten tangled in fishing line, or have you seen a fish tangled in line?  It’s not good for anything or anyone so some local scouts are working to solve the problem at Kerr Lake.

Eagle Scout Coleman Hopfer and his Troop 605 built and installed fishing line recycling stations at all of the Kerr Lake boat ramps managed by the state parks system this past Saturday. Rangers will be collecting the used fishing line and Troop 605 will recycle it.

scouts install fishing line containers at kerr

(Picked up from NC State Parks & Recreation)

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

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ROANOKE RIVER BASIN ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Gene Addesso announces step-down after 13 years at the helm of the Roanoke River Basin Association.

In his usual quiet and calm style veteran president of the Roanoke River Basin Association, Gene Addesso announced that he will retire from that leadership role on June 26th at a board meeting of the RRBA.  A successor is not known but will most likely be elected at that time.

After 33 years as an IBM executive, Addesso assumed the leadership role of the RRBA directing it to a more fact-based, science-alert organization designed to protect the Roanoke River Basin; that protection including natural elements, outside potential threats and if need be, the government as well.

Addesso studied how the basin with all its creeks, rivers, and lakes is put together and became an expert, especially in the eyes of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He is considered one of the top layman on the river and its basin in existence.

Under his leadership the RRBA has grown and strengthened its affiliations, with the organization showing that it will challenge through lawsuits if necessary to protect the Roanoke River Basin.

Addesso

In a memo to friends and associates, Addesso said, “After many long years of volunteer community service to the Roanoke River Basin Association I have decide it is time for me to retire my position as President and let younger folks take the helm in moving the organization forward.

I will remain a member of the RRBA and make myself available for advise and counsel as long as it is needed. I will work to insure a transition to new leadership and coverage on all the projects. Also I must say it has been a pleasure working with you folks over the years.”

“Gene has led the fights over Uranium mining in Virginia that could potentially harm the rivers and Kerr Lake, he’s worked tirelessly on Corps of Engineers reports, plans and guide curve patterns, he joined us right at the top on the Coal Ash and Hydrilla dilemmas.  And the key point is, that he has worked on a multitude of issues and problems with solutions that we all don’t even know about.  That’s just Gene Addesso,” commented ally and Lead Public Affairs Frank Timberlake of Kerr Lake Park Watch.

“We know what a tremendous leadership position that Gene has crafted that president’s job into and we know that RRBA knows how important that role is now and we look forward to seeing the RRBA put in another dynamic leader,” added Timberlake.  “For now, we want to wish Gene some peace and enjoyment.  He deserves it for a job well done.”

### End

 

Posted in: KLPW - Environmental, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

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YOUR RIGHTS TO QUESTION NC ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ARE LITERALLY GOING UP THE RIVER TODAY

YOU’VE DONE NOTHING AND NOW YOU ARE ABOUT TO LOSE YOUR RIGHTS TO QUESTION ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY MADE BY THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. 

BOARD MEMBERS HAVE MEETING WITH NC STATE SENATORS THIS AFTERNOON TO TRY TO CHANGE HOUSE BILL 795, WHILE THE BILL ITSELF SAILS BY FIRST READING IN SENATE.

Even as members of the board of the Roanoke River Basin Association and supporters from other groups, interested in halting or at least slowing the sale of 10 million gallons a day of Kerr Lake water to Franklin County and beyond, prepare to meet this afternoon with Senator Angela Bryant who represents the Kerr Lake area and other senators, the hurried passage of HB 795 being pushed by big business and Governor Pat McCrory is getting closer and closer.  The RRBA and legislators meet this afternoon in Room 414 of the Legislative Office Building.

Simply put, House Bill 795 would greatly eliminate the public, that’s you, from commenting or issuing a formal opinion about practically all of the environmental policy and rule changes made in North Carolina.  It would eliminate most of the public notices now required and right now would hurry along the implementation of the Inter Basin Transfer of water from Kerr Lake to Franklin County and beyond.

Kerr Lake Park Watch’s position is that that allocation made by the Corps of Engineers is for development of the poor Tier One counties around the lake and to keep that water within the same basin.  That concept has been hammered to public officials by KLPW, the RRBA, the Sierra Club and a group called Preserve Our NC Lakes Community.  What may be thousands of emails from citizens objecting to this transfer and to the overall changing of input was called a few emails in an address by DENR official Tom Franzen last week to the Henderson City Council which is the water power behind the transfer which would add millions of dollars to the city’s coffers.

“Go ahead and sit there at your TV or computer and do nothing and they will legislate your damn freedoms right away from you,” said a perturbed KLPW Frank Timberlake.  “The legislators have ignored and are ignoring the public’s plea for an Environmental Impact Study.  The media has either been told to back off this story or either they just can’t see the public’s right to government input being taken away.  DENR was the agency that said coal ash ponds were ok and you want me to have them making policy without public input?  I don’t think so.”

Timberlake is urging anyone who is involved not just with Kerr Lake but any aspect of the environment to stop today, right now and call their state senator and say, “Just put the brakes on this until we can all catch a breath and stop that IBT on Kerr Lake.”  Here’s a direct link to your senator’s phone and email:  http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=senate.

By the way, next week, maybe even tomorrow will be too late.

 

 

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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.

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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….

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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.

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