Local News

Advocacy Group Cracks Down On Chronic Neuse River Polluters

Posted May 30, 2003

— The Neuse River is a source of drinking water for 500,00 Wake County residents. Thousands of gallons of sewage are dumped into the river every day, and an advocacy group is going after the accused polluters.


Neuse River Foundation

(NRF) says the river is a dumping ground for waste water treatment facilities not complying with state standards.

"One point five million people live in the Neuse River Basin," said Dean Naujoks of the NRF.

Naujoks, an upper river keeper, charges one of the biggest abusers is a nearby mobile home park located off Poole Road.

"They've violated virtually every perimeter in its permit. They owe the state about $14,000 in fines that have gone unpaid," Naujoks said of the Riverview Mobile Home Park.

At a

Division of Water Quality

committee meeting held Thursday evening, the NRF challenged permit renewals of 10 of what it calls the most chronic polluters, including Riverview.

The mobile home park is under new ownership and is called Neuse River Village.

"As far as I know, we've upgraded the plant in compliance, I think, in the last 18 months since I owned it," owner Byron Unger said.

Unger said that a change to a hydraulic system should happen in the next 60 to 90 days, but the foundation is not buying it.

"This firm hasn't been in compliance for close to a decade now," Naujoks said.

The accusation apparently did not sit well with Unger, who walked out of the meeting, refusing WRAL's request to set the record straight.

With both sides showing their frustration, it will be up to the state to decide if Unger, or any of the other companies accused of noncompliance, will have access to the river that provides drinking water to Wake County.

Other permits being challenged include the city of Raleigh and the towns of Kenly and Princeton.

The state will assess the accusations and make final recommendations on issuing permits in the coming months.


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