BREDL's Lou Zeller visits with George Murray of the NC Division of Air Quality.
BREDL Clean Air Campaign
Having trouble reading permit documents? Try this workshop with a group.
Statistics For Action
BREDL requests Madison County, NC Board of Health to adopt a resolution recommending a new asphalt plants moratorium
On January 31, 2019, we presented a letter of request to the Madison County Board of Health. At the meeting, the medical director made some very disconcerting comments: that asphalt plant pollution is less worrisome than second-hand cigarette smoke. Clearly, many people do not understand the gravity of the air pollution problem posed by asphalt manufacturing in mountain regions. We are planning to bring the issue up again at the County Commissioners meeting on February 12.
League Takes Governor Northam to Task Over Compressor Station Vote Statewide Radio Ad Campaign Launched
Dec. 14, 2018: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League announced a statewide radio ad campaign targeting Governor Ralph Northam’s interference in the air permitting decision on the proposed natural gas compressor station slated for Buckingham County.
The 30-second spot is being aired on WRVA-AM News Radio, Virginia’s most powerful AM radio station. The ad asks the Governor to explain his sudden dismissal of two members of the State Air Pollution Control Board who questioned the site suitability of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Buckingham’s Union Hill community. The roots of this site date back to the 1860’s when freedmen established this largely African-American farming community after the Civil War.
BREDL requests investigation of Governor Northam by Virginia Inspector General regarding Air Board firings and threats to Advisory Council on Environmental Justice
Nov. 30, 2018: Lovingston, VA—Today, on behalf of its members and chapters in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) called upon Virginia Inspector General Michael Westfall to investigate the firing of two State Air Pollution Control Board members by Governor Ralph Northam. The request also cites threats by the state attorney general to disband the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice. The request centers on a proposed natural gas pipeline compressor station air permit.
Nov. 8, 2018: On behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and our chapter the Concerned
Citizens of Richmond County, I write to request that the DAQ perform a Multiple Source
Review in the Hamlet area before approving the Enviva Permit which today is the subject of a
Hamlet, NC, is the location of several large sources of air pollution. The sum of the impacts on
public must be ascertained by the DAQ before the agency issues any new permits.
BREDL submits comments on UNC-Chapel Hill Title V Air Permit
Oct. 25, 2018: We are concerned that the air pollution created by the combustion of fuel at the University’s physical plant presents a serious risk to the health and well-being of residents in the Chapel Hill area. A public hearing would allow the NC Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to ascertain the
potential public health risks before finalizing this permit.
The Fight for Local Control
Ashe County, North Carolina
Many rural counties are defending themselves as best they can from the negative impacts of coal ash dumping, natural gas pipelines and asphalt plants. The state issues air and water permits for industrial facilities, but local governments can control where they are located. Countywide polluting industries ordinances can do this. In the Ashe County case, a disabled children’s camp is located near the site of a proposed asphalt plant.
Ashe County v. Ashe County Planning Board, NC Court of Appeals, Case No. 18-253
Synopsis: The basis for this case is local land use as defined by the Ashe County Polluting Industries Ordinance, the result of a BREDL campaign in 1998-99. In 2016 Ashe County Commissioners challenged its own Planning Board’s decision to allow an asphalt plant on the South Fork of the New River (Ashe County Superior Court, 16 CVS 514). Interestingly, the Planning Dept. Director denied approval for the plant under the ordinance. But the lower court ruled in favor of the Planning Board and the asphalt plant. So, in 2018, in response to the people, Ashe County filed for writ of certiorari and judicial review to the Court of Appeals. BREDL and its chapter Protect Our Fresh Air support the continuing effort by Ashe County elected officials to reverse the Planning Board, prevent asphalt plant pollution and protect the community.
BREDL Comments on proposed ACP Compressor Station in Buckingham County, VA
Sept. 11, 2018: If permitted, the Buckingham Compressor Station would be a major source of air pollution. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has incorrectly determined that it would be a minor source. We recommend immediate steps be taken to correct this error. Further, unless and until the Virginia Supreme Court rules, and local governing bodies in Buckingham County to do a proper assessment of the disproportionate impacts on economically disadvantaged or minority communities in and around Union Hill, any air permit issued by Virginia DEQ would lack the necessary legal basis.
BREDL submits comments to Georgia EPD regarding Plant Vogtle Title V Permit Renewal as BREDL's Title V Petition to U.S. EPA from August 2010 is still not resolved
Aug. 9, 2018: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff have filed detailed comments opposing the state’s air pollution permit for Plant Vogtle. In the comments, the groups oppose the excessive levels of hazardous air pollution emitted from the cooling towers and other sources in a community already stressed by power plant impacts. They called upon the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to reject the permit.
BREDL submits comments regarding SC DHEC Draft General Synthetic Minor Construction Permit for Asphalt Permits
July 25, 2018: The setting of overall tonnage limits as contemplated in the draft GSM is wholly inadequate. It should be abandoned. A practical, enforceable method would be a better approach for the permittees, the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the people of South Carolina.