Below is a letter written June 24, 2013 to the General Assembly of North Carolina by Deborah and Ken Ferruccio. (Read More about Deborah and Ken Ferruccio)
The environment, natural resources, public health, and economy of North Carolina is being threatened on two fronts. First, the state is threatened by Senate Bill 328 which is an open solicitation to dump out-of-state-waste in North Carolina, making our state the “Dump on Us State.” In addition to the threat of becoming the “Toxic Trash State,” North Carolina is threatened by the potential of uranium mining and radioactive waste disposal in Chatham, Virginia, near the North Carolina border and at the headwaters of the Roanoke River Basin. This basin is the source of drinking water for millions of North Carolinians and Virginians and is an integral part of the agricultural and economic structure of the people.
Waste disposal is a complicated and difficult issue, but the solution to meeting North Carolina’s waste disposal challenges is not to take on the wastes of the Eastern Seaboard and beyond. If Senate Bill 328 is enacted, other states where land is more expensive and where laws are more stringent will find it easier and cheaper to haul their wastes to North Carolina than to site and manage landfills in their own backyards. Since all landfills leak, they not only destroy the environment and public health, but they also destroy the reputations of the communities and states where they are located. What waste company wouldn’t want to locate where legislators pave the way for them to legally pollute with legislation that lifts regulatory safety restrictions, grants exemptions for inspections and oversight, dismisses compensation funds for contamination, and minimizes liability for the landfill operators?
While Senate Bill 328 puts North Carolina in peril to become the “Dump on Us State,” the state is also threatened by uranium mining, milling, and radioactive waste disposal that could destroy our air, waters, and soils. The NC Environmental Review Commission has voiced its concerns about uranium mining to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources has stated it has grave concerns about the potential catastrophic adverse effects uranium mining could have on North Carolina’s drinking water, agriculture, businesses, and tourism and recreation. But what are legislators doing to stop uranium mining in Virginia?
We believe that if you were fully informed on the history of failed landfills — solid, toxic, hazardous, and radioactive waste — and on the history of resistance to them over the past thirty-five years by citizens in communities across North Carolina, you would vote against Senate Bill 328 and do everything in your legislative power to stop Virginia uranium mining, milling, and radioactive waste disposal that threatens our state.
Attached are some of the specifics concerning why we are adamantly opposed to Senate Bill 328 as well to uranium mining and radioactive waste disposal near North Carolina’s borders.