Durham, NC – March 24 at 7p.m. New Hill, NC residents will meet to discuss new ways to address concerns about a draft Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that examines locating a wastewater treatment plant in their community – a proposal by the Western Wake Partners that has drawn opposition from the New Hill community since 2005.
New Hill is a rural, majority-minority community in Western Wake County, located near the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant. They are opposed to the placement of the plant by the Western Wake Partners in their community, contending that:
- The site places an unfair environmental burden on communities of color to the benefit of the predominantly white neighboring towns,
- the majority of residents would not benefit from the plant as most households use septic systems, and an increased proximity to wastewater treatment increases risk of exposure to groundwater contaminants,
- the proposed site is in the middle of the community’s historic district and adjacent to two community churches and a playground, and,
- it would be detrimental to their way of life.
The wastewater plant would primarily serve nearby Apex, Cary, Holly Springs, and Morrisville.
The proposed site, Site 14, would impact 231 residents, over 75% of whom are African American. The New Hill Community Association contends that there are better sites that would have little-to-no human impact, and that the social and environmental justice impacts of this site were not adequately considered by the Western Wake Partners.
The New Hill Community Association is working with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice to challenge the placement of the plant. The Army Corps of Engineers released their draft EIS on March 13, 2008. Residents now have until April 28 to submit comments.
At the Tuesday night meeting, New Hill residents will work to prepare public comments to deliver at the Draft EIS Public Comments Hearing on April 14. Tuesday night’s meeting will be held at the New Hill Baptist Church off old US 1 in New Hill, NC.
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