The issue of Alcoa’s chronic polluting of the land and various bodies of water around Badin was brought into the spotlight Thursday as part of a virtual forum hosted by Reimagining America Project, a local organization that uses testimony, witnessing and atonement to combat systemic racism. The organization hosted “Poisoned Land, Poisoned Water: A Legacy of Environmental Injustice and Racism in a North Carolina Company Town,” a 75-minute online discussion where stakeholders, including officials with the Yadkin Riverkeeper’s office, the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic and Protect Badin Lake, spoke about the history of the contamination, its impacts on residents, especially people of color, and what needs to be done to hold Alcoa accountable. Alcoa opened its aluminum smelting operation in Badin in 1917 and the company dumped hazardous waste without regulation until 1980, when the EPA established the first Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulation declaring spent potliner a hazardous waste. Dangers to the community High levels of cyanide and fluoride have been detected in stormwater flowing from Alcoa through a discharge point known as Outfall 005, potentially contaminating Little Mountain Creek, and then flowing into larger bodies of water including Lake Tillery. Two other discharge points, Outfall 012 and Outfall 013, are in close proximity to public swimming areas around Badin Lake.
*Original full-text article online at: https://www.thesnaponline.com/2023/03/13/alcoas-continued-pollution-in-badin-draws-attention-of-nonprofit-group/