North Carolina state officials are calling into question the results of the Winston Weaver Company’s environmental assessment. The study is related to last year’s fertilizer plant fire that posed the threat of a catastrophic explosion and prompted calls for the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents. 

The environmental assessment for Winston Weaver was completed by Montrose Engineering & Geology, and submitted on January 31, one year after the blaze first began. Some hazardous materials were included in the report. Left out were the high levels of ammonia found in well water tests, recent surface water testing results, and toxic metals found in nearby groundwater.

These concerns along with others were submitted in a February 24 letter by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to Winston Weaver Company President Michael Spence.

DEQ hydrologist Thomas Moore authored the letter and questions the report’s finding that public wells were not close enough to the site to have been negatively impacted by runoff. He goes on to instruct the company to identify nearby municipal water connections, and to provide a map with the location of all surface water samples.

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