Meeting to be held Wednesday night regarding renewal of Alcoa’s stormwater permit

With continued concerns about the on-site hazardous waste from Alcoa Badin Business Park, which continues to leach into nearby waters in Badin, including Little Mountain Creek, several groups will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Atrium Health Stanly Education and Event Center (301 Yadkin St. in Albemarle) as part of a citizen hearing, which will address the renewal of Alcoa’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit.

Representatives from Yadkin Riverkeeper, Duke University Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), UNC School of Public Health, Concerned Citizens of West Badin and Protect Badin Lake will be in attendance and make the case for the state to require Alcoa to excavate the most dangerous of its hazardous waste sites, according to a news release about the event.

The meeting will also highlight Yadkin Riverkeeper’s and SELC’s recommendations for the new permit. Alcoa recently reapplied for the permit, which expired at the end of October.

“Our team of folks with Duke and SELC have been working on comments and preparing recommendations for the storm water permit that Alcoa reapplied for and we want to use this opportunity to make the public is more aware of those concerns and our recommendations for the permit,” said Edgar Miller, executive director of the Yadkin Riverkeeper, who helped organize the meeting.

He hopes what is presented during the meeting will “hopefully equip people with some information so they can possibly participate in the actual public hearing that the state eventually, we hope, will be holding when they actually issue a draft permit.”

Numerous groups, including Duke University Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, SELC and Protect Badin Lake, have written to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Division of Water Resources in recent months, asking for a public hearing and detailing ways Alcoa could improve.

A DEQ spokesperson told The Stanly News & Press in late August that due to the public interest for Alcoa, it is likely there will be a public hearing regarding the permit renewal but did not specify when.