The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has requested additional information and clarifications from the Cottages of Boone while processing its wastewater treatment plant’s permit renewal.

The Watauga Democrat reports the apartment complex was required to renew its permit at the end of 2021, after multiple wastewater spills, and a prolonged build up of trash. Among items requested by the Department, the Cottages of Boone has not notified the agency if it has completed repairs needed from previous site inspections. On Dec. 13 the Department notified the Cottages they had failed to submit monthly pump and haul reports required by its permit.

A Watauga County man has filed suit against Watauga County for failing to take action after the Cottages multiple spills. Adam Zebzda is suing the county under a state constitution article stating the government must “conserve and protect its lands and waters for the benefit of all its citizenry.”

According to the Watauga Democrat, the Watauga Board of Commissioners and county staff submitted a response saying the lawsuit makes allegations against the County that are based on a misunderstanding and misapplication of the law, and has filed a motion to dismiss the case saying there is no actionable controversy and Zebzda has no standing in the case.

Zebzda said as a taxpayer, voter and engaged citizen in the county, he should have standing in a case about the environment in the county.