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N.C. TO NARROW WASTE SITES RANDOLPH GROUP TO PROTEST THREE SITES IN SOUTHEAST COUNTY
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N.C. TO NARROW WASTE SITES RANDOLPH GROUP TO PROTEST THREE SITES IN SOUTHEAST COUNTY

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North Carolina officials are to name finalists this week for disposal sites for both hazardous waste and low-level nuclear waste, ending separate searches that date back to 1985.

Two panels will draw from a list of 20 tracts in 12 counties in designating two possible sites for nuclear waste Monday and two contenders for hazardous waste Tuesday.Low-level nuclear waste includes by-products of medical research and protective garments worn in nuclear-power plants, but it does not include high-level fuel rods. Hazardous waste includes industrial solvents and waste that is either toxic, reactive, corrosive or ignitable.

The tracts, ranging from 580 acres to more than 2,000 acres, all lie within the Piedmont, in a triangle extending from northern Davie County to central Granville County to southeastern Richmond County.

In Denton today, a grass-roots environmental task force will hold a community meeting to drum up support to oppose location of the hazardous waste treatment center across the Davidson County line in Randolph County.

The Randolph Citizens Environmental Taskforce has scheduled a 5 p.m. meeting at Thresher's Reunion Park on U.S. 49 to address concerns about the three proposed sites in the southeast portion of the county.

For more information, call 626-7363 or 626-6406.

Elsewhere across the Piedmont, widely varying strategies of opposition will be focused on the N.C. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Authority and on the N.C. Hazardous Waste Management Commission, which is having a daylong public meeting Monday before naming two sites Tuesday.

For example:

The hazardous-waste commission has maintained that a site for an incinerator, treatment plant and landfill to burn, treat and bury up to 75,000 tons of hazardous waste a year should be near the areas that produce the most waste.

Yet Guilford County, whose industries produce the most industrial waste, other than treated waste water, isn't even in the running for the site.

In fact, of the counties being considered - Alamance, Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Granville, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Randolph, Rowan and Wake - only Wake and Mecklenburg are among the top 10 counties that generate hazardous waste. In 1988, the last year for which complete figures are available, 157.6 million pounds of concentrated waste were generated statewide.

And both of those counties - the state's two most populous - already have a strong defense against selection.

In Randolph County, three tracts under consideration for hazardous waste are 19 to 20.5 miles away from the closest interstate - even though the commission has said only tracts within 15 miles of an interstate would be given high priority.

In Davidson and Rowan counties, officials question what has changed since 1987 - when tracts in both counties were thoroughly reviewed for a hazardous-waste incinerator and were rejected by essentially the same commission that now says they're suitable.

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