Regarding “Wilmington demands clean water, clean EPA” (Aug. 23): The news of industrial chemicals such as GenX in public drinking water sources has illustrated how the current regulatory framework leads to potentially hazardous levels of these chemicals in public drinking water. Currently, there are no federal drinking water standards for GenX and for many other chemicals that are discharged by industries into our water supplies. Many of these chemicals are trade secrets, leaving water treatment plants unaware of which chemicals are present. Without identifying these chemicals, they can not be removed.
A study published in 2007 documented that many other chemicals are being discharged by industries into the Upper Cape Fear Basin, including high amounts found at various locations downriver of Burlington in the Haw River. What other industrial chemicals are in the Haw River and in our public water supplies? How are these unregulated chemicals affecting our health? We need discharge control and advanced techniques for contaminant monitoring to stop this problem at the source. The public and our elected leaders should have confidence that drinking water supplies are safe and that streams, lakes and rivers are healthy for recreation and wildlife.
No listening at hearing
Regarding “Public pans GOP maps proposed for redistricting” (Aug. 23): What will it take to get our elected officials to listen? Tuesday I went to the joint committee hearings on redistricting to listen to the people. North Carolinians came from miles around to share opinions about redistricting. Months ago, federal judges declared that nine Senate districts and 19 House districts “targeted African Americans with almost surgical precision” in order to gain votes. Tuesday was our chance to speak out about the newly drawn districts.
I was at the Raleigh site, and five remote sites were logged in via video conference. The meeting began at 4 p.m., but it was 4:20 by the time all six sites were introduced, and unnecessarily reintroduced. The microphone at the first remote site was placed behind the speaker podium, and although the speaker shouted, she was barely audible.
Angry audience members demanded better, which caused host Rep. David Lewis to move to another site because of the “disorder.” The Raleigh audience was left shaking their heads at the hypocrisy. Even when we could hear and applauded speakers, we were told that clapping was not allowed. If this is an example of how our elected officials “listen” to the people, I am deeply concerned for North Carolina.