North Carolina state government graphic

RALEIGH – The state water resources director apologized for the state’s decision to give Burlington more time to report to the public that wastewater spilled into the Haw River last month.

The water system accidentally dumped 3.5 million gallons into the river in January after a pipe broke.

The state law requires the public to be notified of such a spill within 48 hours. The state environmental official on the site gave water officials extra time to notify the public.

Tom Reeder, the state division of water resources director, said that was a mistake when he spoke before the General Assembly’s Environmental Review Commission Monday morning.

"It’s not Burlington's fault. It is our fault. We won’t let it happen again,” Reeder said.

Burlington officials also spoke before the commission Monday, explaining to legislatures why the pipe broke and how they have responded to the spill.

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Contact Amanda Lehmert at (336) 373-7075, and follow @alehmert on Twitter.

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