LETTER: Duke spill’s effects not yet fully understood

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

As a publicly regulated utility, Duke Energy should be eager to share any information it has regarding the composition and hazards of the ash leachate discharged into the Cape Fear River. If there is nothing to be concerned [about], then it is in their best interest to do so. On the other hand, if there are hazardous components, it is their moral (and legal?) obligation to inform the public.

It also is the obligation of the Sanford Public Works department to have that information and to report to its customers how the current water treatment process is handling the contamination from the spill — not just with words, but with actual chemical analyses from the incoming water and the water supplied to the public. Anything else is just rhetoric.

And last, but not least, The Sanford Herald should investigate and report on this issue that affects all of us. It is not enough to report that the head of the Sanford Public Works says he had not heard anything about the spill (as it did on March 19) and that he had not seen anything in the routine sampling. It is the job of any reporter to question and verify that the information provided is supported by documentation. For example, is the routine sampling capable of detecting the specific products from that leachate? If Duke has not provided the composition of the leachate, how does Public Works know that it is treating for them?

As we can see, we have not begun to understand how this spill affects the people of Sanford. I expect The Sanford Herald to take the lead in reporting and informing the public not just with words, but with actual test results properly reviewed.

Dr. Oscar Roberto