HIGH COUNTRY – Watauga Riverkeeper is gathering comments and signatories on letter asking North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to amend Cottages of Boone sewage treatment plant permit before accepting for renewal .
The Cottages of Boone, which has been the site of several treated and untreated wastewater spills throughout 2021, on November 2 applied for the renewal of its sewage treatment plant license in order to continue operating its water treatment services. water and sewer on site.
Sentinel Watauga is not asking the NCDEQ to revoke the permit, citing concerns over the displacement of the 900 residents who live in the apartment complex.
The three requests from Watauga Riverkeeper Andy Hill listed in the letter are:
Reduce the license term from five years to two years to facilitate the accountability of Cottages if they do not clean up their deed.
Increase the surveillance of Cottages of Boone and make surveillance data of all sewage system overflows, including Cottages of Boone, publicly available in a timely manner and easy to find online.
Make any permit approval conditional on cleaning The Cottages. DEQ should promise to modify or revoke the permit if The Cottages illegally discharges more than 2,500 gallons in a 3 month period.
Anna Gurney, press officer for the NCDEQ water division, released a statement from the NCDEQ stating that “DEQ is carefully considering all public comments and residents’ concerns gathered during public measurement processes. regulatory â.
Regarding the request, the statement stated that âThe Water Resources Division’s non-discharge permit renewal process began with the receipt of an application submitted on November 2, 2021. We are currently in the process of determine if additional information is required from the licensee. , and then start writing the permit. Once the draft permit is complete and reviewed by all parties involved, the Division Manager will consider a public comment period at that time. “
Watauga Riverkeeper Andy Hill said that he, other community stakeholders and MountainTrue, the environmental nonprofit that hosts the Riverkeeper program, have requested a public comment hearing with the NCDEQ regarding the renewal of the Riverkeeper license. Cottages of Boone, which is not legally required for the NCDEQ.
Ultimately, Hill said he received a “thank you” from the NCDEQ for his comments and a statement that they will be considered, but he doesn’t think a public hearing will be granted.