On behalf of Winyah Rivers Alliance and its Lumber Riverkeeper, on August 11, 2020, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) notified Active Energy Renewable Power (AERP) that its unpermitted discharges of industrial stormwater pollution to the Lumber River must stop. This pollution comes from the company’s ongoing sawmill and timber operations. If AERP does not obtain a required stormwater discharge permit within 60 days and otherwise remedy these ongoing violations, Winyah Rivers Alliance is prepared to hold the company accountable and ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act by going to federal court>>
Through our Lumber RIVERKEEPER® Program, we hold polluters accountable for the harm to the Lumber River watershed impacting our right to clean water and our communities’ use for fishing, swimming, paddling, and drinking. AERP is discharging stormwater pollutants without the required permit that regulates pollutant levels to protect water quality. We are working to stop this.
Even prior to 1989, when it was designated a State Natural and Scenic River and the Lumber River State Park was created, the people of the Lumber River have known how special this river is, punctuated by its federal designation in 1998 as a National Wild and Scenic River. The Lumber River is “outstandingly remarkable” because of its natural, scenic, educational, geological, recreational, historical, fish and wildlife, scientific, and cultural values. Read more here about why it needs to be preserved in perpetuity>>
The community of South Lumberton where the AERP facility is located is a vulnerable community within a vulnerable county; Robeson County is a Tier I county, ranking worst in the state in health factors and in health outcomes (100th out of 100 counties). South Lumberton was extremely hard hit by hurricanes in the past few years; homes were flooded and subsequent mold contamination was so severe that it forced many residents to abandon their homes. Any incremental increase of pollution in this community contributes to the ongoing health impacts in this community and solidifies the County’s status as a Tier I community and last in the state for health. Already vulnerable, this community will bear the disproportionate burden of pollution from AERP’s current sawmill operations, as well as the forthcoming production of wood pellets destined for overseas markets.
We are taking action to protect the Lumber River and its communities. But local voices on projects that may affect local waters are vital. Please join us as a member so we can continue to fight to protect the Lumber River and all our rivers in the greater Winyah Bay watershed.
P.O. Box 554
Conway, SC 29528
843 .349 .4007
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