Data: Water quality permit violations in the French Broad River basin

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The French Broad River basin, courtesy of Kmusser, from Wikipedia.org.

As a part of Carolina Public Press’ special-report coverage of threats to water quality in the French Broad River basin, which includes Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties, we took a look at the organizations, agencies, businesses and others who have been fined for violating water quality permits between January 2011 and May 2012.

As required by the 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act, any entity that plans to discharge a form of wastewater directly to a body of water must receive a federal permit given and enforced by the state. The majority of the permits are part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, while the rest are case-specific permits. In North Carolina, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources allots the permits and ensures compliance.

Based on data pulled and verified from NCDENR’s archives, there were 48 permit violations by 20 different public and prviate entities in the French Broad River basin from the months of January 2011 to May 2012. The fines given by NCDENR totaled more than $59,000.

The majority of the permits are part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, while the rest are case-specific permits. In North Carolina, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources allots the permits and ensures compliance.

Below are descriptions of the penalties and enforcement costs associated with each violation, according to department information. Or, to view the entire six-page report, click here. [PDF]

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Special Report

Read Carolina Public Press’ ongoing special-report coverage of water quality in and around the French Broad River here.

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About the Author

Katie Bailey

Katie Bailey is a contributing reporter and photographer with Carolina Public Press. Contact her at bkbailey@live.unc.edu.

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