December 19, 2013
To the editor:
There was small attendance recently at a Church of God of Prophecy, Hamlet, meeting by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League concerning future Duke Energy Progress operations at its electric power generating facility south of Hamlet.
The League expressed concerns over what it said would be possible increased emissions that it said would be toxic. Duke denies that.
A League member said the next step in opposition would be to take their complaint to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But it was up to local people to do so.
It would not be the first time there was opposition in Richmond County to a perceived environmental threat.
In the 1990s there was opposition to a proposed low-level radioactive waste “dump” near Hamlet. FORRCE (For Richmond County Environment) formed and headed off the facility development.
Then Waste Management wanted to site a household waste landfill in the county. That was also headed off by local opposition. Even when such a landfill was proposed in Marlboro County, S.C., at the Richmond County border, opposition arose.
I cannot recall there ever being any opposition to the construction or operation of the now Duke power plant or the one beside it operated by electric cooperatives.
If anyone has concerns about Duke proposals, they would best be advised by environmental lawyers and scientists. Accusations that Duke is not being forthright in its presentations are hollow without scientific input when appealing to the USEPA.
Perhaps there those in the community who are concerned enough to pursue this issue in a responsible and effective way to put our minds at ease.