North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is being accused of tampering with water quality test results to hide reports that hundreds of wells in the state are contaminated. State epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davis resigned last Wednesday after seven years in office and stated that she couldn’t work for an administration that “deliberately misleads the public.” A day later, North Carolina Democrats called for an investigation into whether McCrory has been interfering with test results.
According to the Charlotte Observer, millions of tons of coal ash is stored at Duke’s power plants and has been seeping into the groundwater surrounding it: official tests last year found that cancer-causing chemicals hexavalent chromium and vanadium were contaminating nearly 400 nearby wells. Duke, however, denies that it’s the coal ash that is the source of the problem.
McCrory, a former Duke employee, is currently running for a second term as governor. A spokesperson for his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, said in a statement: “The governor’s top water scientist has just resigned after accusing the McCrory administration of intentionally misleading people. This is a serious accusation, and families deserve both answers and an assurance that their drinking water is safe.” Recent polling has Cooper up 7 points over McCrory, a number that could be boosted by a scathing editorial condemning the governor for compromising safety for political reasons. “The residents near those ash pits need answers. Answers they can trust,” the Charlotte Observer editorial board wrote. “And a good place to start is by letting scientists do their jobs without fear of meddling from poll-watching politicians and their politically sensitive aides.”
This isn’t the first time Governor McCrory has come under fire for his heavy-handed approach. This year alone, the governor has vowed to appeal a court ruling against North Carolina’s voter ID law, vigorously defended North Carolina’s controversial birth-sex-only bathroom use law, and signed a bill to hide police bodycam footage from the public.
(Via Charlotte Observer)