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Rowan, Cabarrus gathering opposes plans for farmlands to accept sludge from Charlotte


Mark Wineka/Salisbury Post Danny Knight, who lives on Old Beatty Ford Road next to acreage proposed for the land application of sewer sludge from Charlotte-Mecklenbur Utilities, picks up some of the hand-out information in Gold Hill Sunday.

GOLD HILL — Danny and Angela Knight live on Old Beatty Ford Road next to acreage proposed for the land application of sewer sludge from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department.

They don’t want it, because they are fearful the biosolids could contaminate nearby streams and be harmful to groundwater, poisonous to breathe and uncomfortable to smell.

The Knights also have concerns that Shive Elementary School is about a half-mile from the proposed site, as the crow flies.
Attending a community meeting Sunday at the Gold Hill Fire Department, Angela Knight asked how individuals could fight large companies and big government who are responsible for spreading the sludge.

“Me, as an individual, I’m not big enough,” Angela Knight said. “Nobody wants this next to their place. ... I don’t want it there.”

Synagro, which handles CMUD’s land application program, has applied for numerous permits from the N.C. Division of Water Quality to spread biosolids from the waste treatment process on farmland in Rowan, Cabarrus, Stanly, Anson and Iredell counties.

The permits have yet to be approved, according to Dr. Lance Riley, who organized Sunday’s meeting.
“We’re in the sweet spot now where nothing’s going on,” Riley told about 75 people from Rowan and neighboring counties. “Let’s keep it that way.”

Representatives from CMUD and Synagro have scheduled a community meeting themselves to explain the proposed land application program. That meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Stephens Lutheran Church.

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