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RRBA News

Keeping you informed

1. RECREATIONAL ENHANCEMENTS IN THE BASIN

This is one area that most people can readily identify with and appreciate. This program is up and mining and the association is seeking capital funding for North Carolina to expand facilities.

The association has applied for a $2.7 million grant from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Program to build 13 or more additional boat/canoe ramps along the Dan River from Pittsylvania County in Virginia to Kerr Lake. In addition, the association has received from the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region funding to construction one or more ramps in Mecklenburg County. Virginia. Included in this foundation application is a 15% fee for RRBA's administrative and oversight costs related to program implementation. We have also included this fee in the NRDA grant application. It is important that recreational projects have sufficient administrative funding to oversee and implement the facility work.

2. RIVER TESTING AND MONITORING

There are two types of river testing and monitoring. First, the association been and should continue to monitor the Banister River and other rivers in the basin for possible pollutants impacting endangered species and to identify any changes in the biota. Second, the association needs to monitor the Dan River all the way m Kerr Lake Dam to determine the long-term environmental effects of the coal ~ on the biota. The association has a great team of experts with experience in this field in Paul Angermier and Tom Pakurar. The Virginia Coalition funded the Banister River monitoring and testing program. The association has included a $1.1 million allocation of funds for this purpose in NRDA grant application. The association has recently received a small grant from the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region to assist with implementing this program. This S41.000 grant was to be used for not only testing but for installation of a boat ramp on the Dan River.

3. Uranium mining

We won judgement in Federal court in Danville, we won in the legislatures in both Raleigh and Richmond, we won support in the Governor's office in Raleigh and Richmond, and we won judgement in the supreme court of the United States!!! And in July this summer we return to court in Wise county Virginia. The City of Virginia Beach clearly proved with a professional study that with one downpour of rain in Pittsylvania county during mining operations, the Roanoke River could be contaminated for up to 3 years with radioactive material destroying local water supplies from Pittsylvania county to the Atlantic Ocean. We will again be there to represent the counties who understand this threat. You may see for yourself the study on our website at RoanokeRiverBasinAssociation.org.

4. COAL ASH POLICY DEVELOPMENT

Although the association has been successful in recent litigation regarding the clean-up of coal ash deposits, testing and monitoring of the waters still needs to be performed. The association needs to follow up to ensure that Duke Energy and NC DEQ follow through in a workman like manner and completes the oversight monitoring and inspections. Second, Dominion -Power has at least one coal ash storage location in the basin at Clover, Virginia. This site should be studied by Virginia DEQ more closely for groundwater contamination. If funding is available, RRBA should consider its own inspection, testing and study. The association will need to develop a strategy for education and advocacy with the elected officials and the general public.

5. INTER BASIN TRANSFER POLICY DEVELOPMENT

The association must develop a policy position on inter basin transfer of water from the Roanoke River Basin to other basins in North Carolina and Virginia. Currently the biggest threat to the water resource is the transfer of water from the basin via a major pipeline from Kerr Lake to the Research Triangle Park area in North Carolina. Some years ago a request was made to the Army Corp of Engineers and NC DEQ for withdrawal of up to 50 million gallons a day. To date there has been no action taken on this request. The association must be prepared to response quickly to any such request that could significantly reduce the volume of water in the reservoir. A major drought condition in the early 2000s put significant stress on water resources and any loss of water via inter-basin transfer just makes this condition worse. We must educate our local officials of the impacts long-term.

6. EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY

Our ally in the basin, Dan River Basin Association (DRBA), has developed an extraordinary citizen involvement program which provides the public, starting with young children, educational programs about the rivers and lakes in the basin so they can acquire knowledge, understanding, appreciation and value of the water resources. DRBA has offered to work with the RRBA on a similar program. The association should consider implementing this program with sufficient funding. RRBA has become the leading advocacy group for the protection of the water resources in the basin. Whether it is inter basin transfer of water uranium mining, coal ash deposits, RRBA has been the "go to" organization when media and the general public looks for a response to basin issues. Our reputation in Richmond and Raleigh is based in no small part on our level-headed fact-based approach to dealing with controversial issues. This endeavor to educate and advocate should be sustained, refined and expanded with available funding.

Canoeing, Hiking, Adventure! Upper Reach, Roanoke River Basin Association