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Split Crowd at New River Intake Hearing PDF Print
Written by Gary Childers   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 10:27

Approximately 50 people attended a public hearing held last night at Green Valley School concerning the proposed water supply reclassification of the New River’s South Fork. The purpose of the proposed reclassification is to provide an intake to supply water to the Town of Boone for its future needs. After a brief presentation by Elizabeth Kountis, planner with DENR-Division of Water Quality, on how the reclassification of a river occurs Jeff Morse, hearing officer with the Environmental Management Commission, opened the hearing for public comment. Of the approximately 50 people in attendance, thirteen spoke, with there being an almost equal distribution of people in favor of, or against, allowing the water intake for Boone. Those in favor of allowing the intake of water for the Town of Boone spoke of the need to secure water for the use of the town and for the economic development of the region. Mayor of Boone, Loretta Clawson, comments reflected these desires. Those against the intake spoke of the potential negative impact to the citizens of Ashe County by risking the overall health of the river and its recreational use if the water volume was reduced by the 10% called for. Jeff Stanley of Wahoo’s Adventures represented these concerns in his comments. After public comments were completed the hearing officer announced that all comments and information provided will be reviewed by the commission within the next few months with tentative plans for a recommendation to come forth by March of 2012. It was further explained that if the Commission approved the water intake request the NC Legislature and the US Environmental Protection Agency will still have to approve before the intake can be allowed.

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