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LETTER / Investigating the Claims Being Made by New River Advocates

Dear Editor,

So the topic for today’s letter? Your locale oracle decided to investigate the claims being made by New River Advocates. Specifically their claims regarding General Statute [§143-355(l)] and the claims that there are no DENR regulations that mandate when a town must seek a new water supply.

And at the risk of having my own comments totally taken out context for one of their “blog” posts. (Town apologist agrees with NRA!) they almost got it right this time. In my own email exchanges with officials at DENR they did confirm two key points.

* There is no specific DENR regulation. So it is odd how that line appears in the EA.

* General Statute [§143-355(l)] does dictate when a town needs to seek a future water supply.

So I’m sure people are asking where is my case? Since it seems that NRA has it right? Well let’s start with this little claim. And take back that whole almost getting it right thing.

“First of all, New River Advocates quoted the entire cite at NCGS §143-355(l). We didn’t omit anything.”

Oh really? (Bolding is mine, department refers to DENR)

(l) Local Water Supply Plans. – Each unit of local government that provides public water service or that plans to provide public water service and each large community water system shall, either individually or together with other units of local government and large community water systems, prepare a local water supply plan and submit it to the Department for approval. The Department shall provide technical assistance with the preparation of plans to units of local government and large community water systems upon request and to the extent that the Department has resources available to provide assistance. At a minimum, each unit of local government and large community water system shall include in local water supply plans all information that is readily available to it. Plans shall include present and projected population, industrial development, and water use within the service area; present and future water supplies; an estimate of the technical assistance that may be needed at the local level to address projected water needs; current and future water conservation and water reuse programs, including a plan for the reduction of long-term per capita demand for potable water; a description of how the local government or large community water system will respond to drought and other water shortage emergencies and continue to meet essential public water supply needs during the emergency; and any other related information as the Department may require in the preparation of a State water supply plan.

A unit of local government or large community water system shall submit a revised plan that specifies how the water system intends to address foreseeable future water needs when eighty percent (80%) of the water system’s available water supply based on calendar year average daily demand has been allocated to current or prospective water users or the seasonal demand exceeds ninety percent (90%).

Local plans shall be revised to reflect changes in relevant data and projections at least once each five years unless the Department requests more frequent revisions. The revised plan shall include the current and anticipated reliance by the local government unit or large community water system on surface water transfers as defined by G.S. 143-215.22G. Local plans and revised plans shall be submitted to the Department once they have been approved by each unit of local government and large community water system that participated in the preparation of the plan.

So would New River Advocates like to explain how it is they claim to have not omitted anything in the above Statute? When in both their first recent letter and their so called “analysis” they only quote the part of 143-555(l) that tries to make their case and ignores the rest?

That is no mere misquote this time. When you say to the press your letters and “analysis” didn’t omit anything. But then the most basic fact checking can reveal those claims as not true? That is one of two things.

Either total ignorance of the actual facts. Which is hard to believe in this case since NRA has the entire statute posted in a link off their website, so why not cite the entire statute? Why “omit” parts?

Or it’s NRA attempting a bald faced lie. Along with manipulating the facts given to the public with their “analysis”, and to the local press with their letters. By trying to ignore the rest of 143-555(l) when it doesn’t support their arguments. Despite a claim of not “omitting anything.”

And were we to use the logic of this group (and their “opinions” about the EA) “If this isn’t true, than what else in their analysis might be false as well?”

Not that I think this statute is false mind you, in fact I’m more than happy to use the ENTIRE thing as the law that dictates when a town needs to seek a future water source. Because rather than invalidate Boone’s needs as NRA would try to claim (Along with nonsensical distractions about sewer hookups because you know, they have an 80% in their rule too!) This 80% actually validates Boone’s needs for a future water supply. As told to me by Linwood Peele at NCDENR.

(From that email)

“In the Town of Boone’s 2012 Local Water Supply Plan, their current available supply is 3.0 mgd from the South Fork River and their 2012 demand was 1.694 mgd which was 56% of their available supply. The Town of Boone projected their 2020 demand to be 2.902 mgd which would be 97% of their (3.0mgd ) current available supply. According to NCGS 143-355(l), the Town of Boone is required to have a plan to address their demand from exceeding 80% of their available water supply in the foreseeable future.”
Now NRA can howl to the moon loud as they want about how those projections are wrong, Boone is lying! Rubber stamping! Blah blah whatever. But the basic undeniable fact is regardless of the he said she said between the EA and NRA Boone has obeyed 143-555(l). The town’s LWSP’s (the “revised plans” in the part NRA actually quotes) have in them the plan for the future water intake to meet the town’s future needs, as projected by a state certified engineering firm and approved for construction by DENR via administrative code 15A NCAC 18C section .0300.

Certified engineers and DENR experts two things NRA isn’t. Take a look through their “analysis” and count how many times you see the phrase “we believe” before they make a claim (sixteen times to save some the trouble). Well guess what? As the saying they still haven’t grasped goes you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. You don’t get to make up what you “believe” the data should be, and then use that data to make your case. That’s not how science or engineering works.

But if they think their data is so accurate and their methodology not totally flawed I invite NRA to put their money where their mouth is. Submit those claims and that “analysis” to DENR or the engineering firm of their choice, and get an expert opinion. Only then will their non-professional non-expert analysis be even close to actual fact.

Unless of course Boone got to all the other firms already! (MWAHAHAHAHAHA!)

Till then their little denial of “no significant impact” is utterly meaningless, and inane as their unprovable claims that somehow Boone was able to lie and deceive every single state agency to get this intake approved. Not to mention has been filing LWSP’s with falsified projection data, somehow got the entire WK Dickson firm to engage in this willful deceit with them, falsified an entire EA report, faked the intake blueprints in the EA (more on that later) and somehow never got caught till NRA found them out? Total tinfoil hat territory.

And again it’s total denial of basic facts. To quote NRA’s letter again.

“However, he (Patrick Beville) is upset because New River Advocates did not include “average daily demand that is allocated to prospective water users”.

What does it say right in GS 143-555(l)? And in the part NRA actually quotes no less?

(80%) of the water system’s available water supply based on calendar year average daily demand has been allocated to current or prospective water users.

Such as just off the top of my head.

*The debate at WUC meetings regarding the 150,000 GPD allocation for the old high school property.

*Future water allocations for possible development at the old TT electronics lot (though to be fair news on that one is older)

*Water allocation for the new planned development at the old Scottish Inn property.

*And most of all does anyone remember the debate about getting water to the planned 194 Business Park?

As I said in my previous letter, if you can’t agree on the facts, you can’t have a debate. And NRA is looking mighty factually challenged once again here.

And to anyone who has ran a house or a business a little question. Do you just pay bills as they come, or do you budget for the future needs you have? So why does NRA think future water demand should have to be any different? And in a stunning example of rank hypocrisy why does NRA now have to try and ignore part of the very law they claim as proof against Boone to make their case? You don’t get to exclude data just because you don’t like what it says. Again that’s bad science, again it’s all but lying when you leave it out of your arguments, and again it’s why their analysis is a utter joke.

Ask any real scientist and they will tell you a true analysis/experiment (if NRA were interested in one) does not shape the data to reach a desired conclusion. A true one has the conclusions shaped by the data. Such as the again undeniable facts shown by experts and approved by experts that Boone is growing, Boone’s projected growth will exceed 80%, and Boone needs a new water source.

And a true analysis doesn’t lie to make it’s case either. One quick look shows NRA still attempting the same tired one they need to be called out on once again. On page 17 of their “analysis”, and according to their website page 35 of the EA.

“At the proposed location, the water has been measured, at its highest normal level, at 1.36’.”

Again it’s impossible to call this a misrepresentation, it’s a flat out lie. This 1.36′ depth as mentioned on page 35 of the EA does not refer to the intake location. If you look at the actual text, or the attached exhibits which NRA oh so conveniently (for them) do not mention in an “analysis”?
(The actual page 35 of the EA)

“At the deepest point, water depth measured 1.38 feet on 24 February 2009. The measured flow rate was 117.5 cfs, wetted cross sectional area was 55.8 square feet, and wetted perimeter was 101.2 feet. After flow was reduced by 22.16 percent (26.04 cfs), HydraflowEXPRESS Version©2006 Intelisolve) indicated that water depth would be reduced by 0.13 foot (1.56 inches) in the first riffle downstream from the proposed intake (1.25 feet, Exhibit 1.d).”
So why does NRA continue their attempts to claim that the river depth at the intake location is somehow 1.36 feet when the exhibits mentioned in the EA on page 35 (but not their website) cover the downstream riffle nowhere near the actual intake location?

And let’s note what is missing off the plans on their website as NRA doubles down on said lie. If you look at the actual plans in the EA (page 168 by my PDF reader) they have an elevation chart displayed on the left side of the blueprint. From which you can see the actual river depth.

Unlike the plans on NRA’s website where they claim “Actual depth = 1ft +/-?” But also where the elevation level chart has been cropped off for some reason. Almost as if it disagrees with their claims or something…

Would NRA like to provide a reason as to why they have edited the plans in that fashion?

And what is the river depth at the intake location if you look at the non edited plans in the EA, and use that chart plus basic blueprint reading skills? 6 to 7 feet. So why is NRA trying to claim otherwise when another dose of basic fact checking shows their claims to once again…

Either be totally ignorant of the facts.

Or given the blatantly obvious editing they have done to said plans what looks like doctored results to push another outright lie? And again why do they keep trying to hide that which goes against their claims?

And does NRA seriously want us to believe a state certified engineering firm can not tell the difference between 1.3 feet of water and 7? That they would make that mistake in documented blueprints? That DENR would miss such an error? Or that Boone could get away with this “lie” when anyone could go right out to the river and see how deep it actually is? How gullible do you have to be to believe yet another patently ridiculous claim such as this one?

As for any environmental impact? I believe my previous letter covered that already. The fact NRA hasn’t been able to muster up a single response to defend their closed loop myth, and still refuses my offers of copies of the town’s WWTP logs for their website so we can see just how much pollution actually isn’t going into the New River says it all.

And again the only way that argument is valid is if you somehow believe that Boone somehow tricked DENR officials and every other state environmental agency into a rubber stamping of the project. Again that is complete and utter nonsense with not one shred of evidence to back any of it up. But that’s the beauty of a good conspiracy theory. The less proof you have the more believable it can be!

Meanwhile in reality let’s call this what it is. Basic denial of the science done by experts. Or in NRA’s case closer to this than an actual factual argument. But if it keeps Grandma scared about Boone being out to “steal all the water” that they are then going to “pollute” the river with mission accomplished right?

By the way has anyone actually asked why Boone wants to “steal” all the water? Why the town would do so? Or even need to?

Or why they would destroy with pollution the source of drinking water the town needs?

Or is it easier to just go for the scare tactics rather then provide a rational reason?

Either way does the intake need a serious debate? Yes it should have that before the project goes forward. What it also needs however is also an honest debate based on facts. What it doesn’t need is NRA continuing to do their best impression of Professor Harold Hill.

“Now Morris I need some ideas if I’m going to get your town out of the serious trouble it’s in.”
“River city ain’t in any trouble.”
“Then I’ll have to create some.”

Complete with their sideshow of what are they hiding conspiracy theories. Baseless accusations against the town of Boone and their agendas with no basis in reality. Outright lies and manipulations of data to try and make a case where none exists. And worst of all their continued churlish character assaults. Such as the “PR rep” slander NRA is still trying to use against Patrick Beville and Quint David to create yet another fake scandal. When Mr. Beville himself already said that was sarcasm.

When you’re down to that level along with “Apologist” and “Stooge” all it shows is just how little of a case you actually have to make.

It’s things like that and the “press releases” NRA keeps putting out that shows how this isn’t a Boone-Doggle. A better name would be still be “Boone-ghazi” From a group rivaling Darrel Issa himself in the sheer volume of scandal of the day noodle at the wall nonsense they fling. Hoping one just might stick, and hoping no one notices how (like Issa and the GOP did) they keep twisting the facts to make scandals where none exist.

And it just keeps showing in word and deed something I’ve said from the start. How this continues to be about the same old Anti-Boone partisan politics on top of personal greed. Over the health of the river NRA really does not seem to care much about as of late. And the fact they continue to claim that when actions say otherwise is the worst lie of all.

Jesse Steele
Boone NC