The job of a community organizer is to organize communities. Community organizers help
to advance racial and economic justice, promote democracy, teach leadership, and develop the
sustainability of communities. Community organizing reveals people's innate power and directs
it towards a goal. BREDL's community organizers spend much of their time talking, meeting and working with ordinary people who request our help with
a specific environmental issue or problem in their community. If you like meeting people and
enjoy working with them, you have the makings of a community organizer.
Chemical Disclosure Resolution Template to Protect Local Right-to-Know
BREDL has drafted a resolution template calling for full disclosure of chemicals to be used, stored, and transported at fracking sites, and we hope that groups across the state will adopt this resolution so that it can be presented to local governments in with support from their respective communities. The resolution is designed to be passed among organizations and local governments who can write in their own names and official status. We are asking that local groups adopt and share the resolution widely as an organizing tool in your communities.
BREDL 30th Anniversary Merchandise is now available online at BREDL Shop
Coal Ash Disposition
The Alternative for North Carolina
BREDL's technical report which details the dangers of landfilling coal ash and recommends the proven saltstone technology for the coal ash at Duke Energy's fourteen power plants. The report entitled "Coal Ash Disposition: The Alternative for North Carolina," describes the saltstone technology which would encase the coal ash waste and isolate the toxins from the soil, air and water.
The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League Board of Directors has recently approved the establishment of a fund to honor the work of Janet Marsh Zeller, who founded the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and served as its executive director for 28 years.
Since July 2012, Janet has acted as a consultant to the BREDL Board Executive Committee.
The honorary fund is a current fund (as opposed to an endowment fund) which will support the ongoing mission of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.
It will be a continuing fund, with individual gifts accepted throughout the year. All donations to BREDL are tax-deductible.
Preserve Bent Mountain (Roanoke Co., VA) - November 2014
Tri-State Concerned Citizens (Tishomingo Co., MS) - October 2014
Citizens Preserving Floyd County (Floyd Co., VA) - October 2014
Watauga Citizens for Local Control (Watauga Co., NC) - August 2014
Concerned Citizens of Richmond County (Richmond Co., NC) - February 2014
Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (Lithonia, GA) - December 2013
The League comments on the proposed Clean Power Plan proposed
rule under consideration by the US EPA
Dec. 1, 2014: The EPA Clean Power Plan's reliance on nuclear power, biomass and natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is misplaced. Therefore, we recommend that the EPA abandon its assumptions regarding these three methods of generating electricity. Without this baggage, the Clean Power Plan's carbon reduction goals are still achievable, at less cost and without damage to the environment and public health.
Watauga Citizens Call for Expanded Protection from Pollution
Nov. 13, 2014: Today the Watauga Citizens for Local Control requested that the Watauga County
Board of Commissioners adopt a buffer zone of 1,500 feet between polluting industries
and residential dwellings, commercial buildings and churches. The group said that
augmented buffer zones, or setbacks, would better protect people from smoke, noise and
health risks caused by asphalt plants, electric power facilities, fuel storage tanks and other
industrial facilities. The county already requires such setbacks from daycare centers,
schools and nursing homes.
League Spotlight: Lee & Chatham Counties, NC - "Split Estates and Forced Pooling". Fracking could bring new dangers to descendents of 1925 coal mine tragedy.
BREDL and Pee Dee WALL Petition EPA Regarding
Piedmont Natural Gas Wadesboro Compressor Station Title V Permit
Oct. 2014: The Piedmont Natural Gas—Wadesboro Compressor Station is one of many similar units strung like beads on natural gas pipelines. They emit huge amounts of toxic air pollution, and this one is no exception. The permit recently issued by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality suffers from fatal flaws which result in excessive amounts of air pollution and place a disproportionate burden on low income and minority populations in Wadesboro, North Carolina.
Groups Take Legal Action to Halt Licensing of 24 Nuclear Plants
Cite Failure to Comply with Court Ruling
Sept. 29, 2014: Today a coalition of 17 public interest groups filed legal actions to halt the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission’s licensing of two dozen power plants. The actions were taken in
response to the NRC’s failure comply with the US Court of Appeals DC Circuit order which held
that the Commission must assess the long-term impacts of radioactive waste storage before
issuing any new power plant licenses.
North Carolina Energy Coalition seems to have brought in homeless men to pose as fracking supporters at a state hearing on developing fracking operations in the state. The men were bussed 200 miles from Winston-Salem to Cullowhee, N.C., where the hearing took place, for the day.
Around 30 people, some homeless and unaware of fracking issues, were said to be bussed in by the North Carolina Energy Forum, supported by the American Petroleum Institute. Some of the men sporting “Shale Yes” T-shirts seemed confused about why they were in Cullowhee. Some were brought in from homeless shelters after being told that fracking would “help the environment”. Most seemed to not know much about the fracking process.
This happened at a meeting of the state Mining and Energy Commission at Western Carolina University. It was one of four statewide meetings to gather comments from the public about rules for shale gas exploration in North Carolina.
According to The Sylva Herald 18 or so men sported turquoise-colored “Shale Yes” T-shirts. Some of them expressed confusion about why they were in Cullowhee. A handful removed their shirts or turned them inside out after anti-fracking supporters quizzed them about their knowledge of fracking. One of the men told The Herald he stays in a Winston-Salem homeless shelter and came because he had been told it would help the environment. He said he felt misled.
Fracking protesters cried foul.
Groups File Lawsuit Against Duke Energy Power Plant in Hamlet, NC
Sept. 17, 2014: Cary Rodgers, the League's NC Environmental Justice Organizer, said, "Long-time residents tell they are awakened at three o'clock in the morning by loud noises from Duke Energy's combustion turbine power plant. And the air around their homes is filled with bitter tasting smoke." He added, "We are demanding that the EPA offset the disproportionate impact of pollution on this community with a corresponding level of resources and technology to correct the ongoing environmental injustice." Reflecting on the company's shift to natural gas, Lou Zeller, Executive Director of the League, said, "The shift to natural gas is not helping at all. In fact, during the last four years the overall level of pollution at this plant has nearly tripled."
GROUP RELEASES "WAITING IN A CESSPOOL" Calls for Prompt Action to Evacuate Remaining Residents
Sept. 3, 2014: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has called upon officials in Augusta to take immediate steps to move the families still living in the contaminated Hyde Park neighborhood to safer housing. In a letter addressed to the mayor, Charles Utley, Augusta resident and Campaign Director for BREDL, said, “The residents Hyde Park seek only justice and fulfillment of promises made. We are appealing to you to use the power of your office to protect public health and safety. We started this project, let’s finish it.”
In 1969 the Richmond County Health Department advised residents of Hyde Park their well water was unsafe because of industrial pollution. Four decades later, relocation of the community was finally approved. However, only half of the 130 families have been moved to safety. The video essay, “Waiting in a Cesspool” tells the story of those who have been left behind. Hyde Park residents seek only justice and fulfillment of promises made.
BREDL News Scroller
What if Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League earned a donation every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our cause?
Well, now it can!
Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.
View the video.
BREDL Partners with TERC
TERC is partnering with environmental action groups in twelve states to advance the quantitative literacy skills needed to understand and solve pressing environmental problems.
- Cover: Natural Gas, Unnatural Disaster by Louis Zeller
- Director's Report: I Am Because You Are by Louis Zeller
- Sand Mining - New Fracking Threat to North Carolina by Therese Vick
- BREDL on the Nation's Map - Thanks to Bungle by American Petroleum Institute Group by Sue Crotts
- Beyond Dirty Tricks by Gwen Frisbie-Fulton
- My Internship Experience with BREDL by Shengyuan Su
- Using Environmental Test Results with Community Members by Lou Zeller
- NC Mining and Energy Commission Experiences BREDL and Friends in Action During Fracking Hearings by Kate Dunnigan
- Who Regulates the Regulators? by Pastor Cary Rodgers
- Shell Bluff Concerned Citizens Potassium Iodide Program by Rev. Charles Utley
On September 2, 2014, a public forum on hydrofracking was held in Franklin, NC, moderated by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, a co-sponsor of S786, the legislation that opened NC to fracking when it passed in June, 2014. Invited speakers on the panel were Commissioner Jim Womack of the Mining and Energy Commission, Therese Vick, Healthy Sustainable Campaign Coordinator at Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Sen. Andrew Brock, R-Davie, and Jeffrey Warren, science and energy adviser for the Office of the President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate. During the question-and-answer session, pre-written questions from the audience were randomly drawn. If you would like to read additional responses to the questions posed by the public at this forum, email Jim.Davis@ncleg.net with "fracking forum questions" in the subject line and ask to be added to the Q&A list. This forum was held in preparation for the Mining and Energy Commission hearing in Cullowhee on September 12, 6 p.m. at the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center, 92 Catamount Road, at Western Carolina University. Video courtesy of the Canary Coalition, a grassroots environmental non-profit organization based in Sylva, NC.
Blue Ridge Environmental
Defense League is a regional, community-based,
non-profit environmental organization. Our
founding principles are earth stewardship,
environmental democracy, social justice, and