Duke more interested in money than lake’s health

Editor,

My first comment is on the state renewing the Riverbend Steam Station permit on Mountain Island Lake: It’s obvious that Duke Energy has no interest in seeking alternative methods to dispose of heavy-metal waste it produces in its plants. I’m sure the company scoffed at the cost of any such study, if a study was even considered, let alone, conducted. Monitoring for heavy metals or PCBs is always a good thing, but there is already an issue of high concentrations of such in Mountain Island Lake, as evidenced by the January 6, 2011, Mercury, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Fish Consumption Advisory.

In my humble opinion, monitoring is only a reactive measure to the existing problem. Will Duke Energy voluntarily implement preventive measures to reduce and/or eliminate the continued contamination of PCBs in Mountain Island Lake? Will the state step up to protect the people of this area that eat fish from and drink water from Mountain Island Lake waters and require Duke to implement proactive measures and clean up it’s operations?

Secondly, the report on Duke Energy wanting stakeholders to pressure the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Duke Energy’s haste on wanting the federal agency to issue a new Catawba-Wateree license is more corporate greed. Think Wall Street brats on bail-out. The federal agency wants an opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service on how Duke’s operations could affect the endangered shortnose sturgeon.

If this opinion results in a yes, then why would it matter how long it takes? This haste lends to the appearance that Duke Energy already knows that the fisheries service will affirm it’s operations will endanger the sturgeon or, worse, endanger people. You do the math. Duke alleges that delaying the license would also delay several projects it has promised on the lake.

What is the nexus between the license that would allow the company to keep its operations on the river and the improvements to the recreational areas? If Duke is really sincere in improving recreational areas on the river, just do it! Please, don’t commingle business/operational issues with public relations and goodwill.

– James Arthur Blake, Mount Holly

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