Now is the Time for YOU to Take Action on Coal Ash

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

Citizens across North Carolina are taking action to hold Duke accountable for their massive coal ash spill into the Dan River. And now our legislators need to follow through to make sure nothing like this ever happens again in North Carolina.

coal ash spillRegister Today - convio.png

We have the momentum on our side– but your legislators need to hear from their constituents. That’s where you come in.

With 36 days until the start of the legislative session on May 14, now is the best time to meet with legislators at home in their districts. The message is clear: the North Carolina General Assembly needs to make sure Duke Energy cleans up its waste at the three dozen unlined wet coal ash pits across the state, all of which threaten local water resources.

Join the NC Sierra Club and our allies on a webinar at 6:00 p.m. on April 10 to get the training and the tools to effectively advocate and educate your legislators on coal ash.

With 170 legislators to meet with, it’s time to get started securing support from your legislators for meaningful action when the legislature reconvenes in May! Sign up today to get you and your neighbors started.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/205129519

Title: Coal Ash Training

Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Location: Online

Please let me know if you have any questions about this training or what you can do make sure all of the coal ash in our state is cleaned up and moved away from our water supplies!

Cheers,

Zak Keith
Lead Organizer, NC Sierra Club

P.S. – Registration for our free webinar is fast and easy!  Don’t miss your chance to find out what you can do to help make sure Duke Energy’s toxic coal ash gets cleaned up!

What a Deal! – Sierra Club Outings Leader Training, May 4-5

I hope that folks realize what a great deal this is. All this training for just $30!  Can’t make the whole weekend? You can attend the section that you nee. Sign up NOW to reserve your space!

OLT 102 201 May 2014 Flyer

Sierra Club Outings Leaders Training

General Schedule

Sesquicentennial State Park

May 3-4, 2014

 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM        Check-in/Welcome & Group Activity. (Art Seel) – SC Chapter Outings Chair

9:30 AM – 12:00 AM     (Basic) OLT 101 – Level 1 (Kelly Mieszkalski) – NC Chapter Outings Chair

12:00 AM – 12:30 PM   Lunch (Campsite)

I:00 PM – 3:00 PM          (Advanced) OLT 201 – Level 2 (Starr Hazard) – Lunz Group Chair

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM        (Advanced) OLT 201 – Level 2 (Continued)

6:00P M – 7:30 PM       Dinner (Local Restaurant).

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM        Conservation Through Outings (Al Graves) – Professor, Environmental Science

9:00 PM – Until?            Social Fellowship (Campsite).

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM        Breakfast (Campsite)

10:00 AM – 12:00 AM   Boating Safety (Chris Hall/Starr Hazard).

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM      Lunch (Campsite).

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM        CPR/First Aid Training in Campsite. (Dan & Carolyn Wagner)

3:00 PM -                      Close Training/Take-down – Head for Home.

 

All OLT will take place in Group Campsite #5 area, which will also be the tent camping area. Parking will be nearby, in the main parking area. Campground restrooms, w/showers, are just a few feet away from Campsite #5. We will have electric power in the campsite to charge laptops and cellphones. Saturday night those who would like to go to a local restaurant for dinner with the group are welcome, or you may prefer to stay and cook on your own, in the campsite.

The full weekend of training includes OLT101, OLT201, Boat Safety, and CPR/Basic First Aid Training. OLT101 and Basic First Aid are REQUIRED FOR ALL SIERRA CLUB OUTINGS LEADERS and must be taken at least every 4 years. OLT201 is required for leaders who want to lead “level 2″ outings–overnight outings away from cars and only needs to be taken once. If you have any interest in leading canoe/kayak outings, you should definitely take the free Boat Safety training!

The cost for the full weekend of all training events is $30 and includes training materials, lunch on Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday. We will be camping and the cost is $5 per night per person.

If you will not be signing up for the full weekend, please tell us for which parts you are signing up:   Not applicable/I’m taking the whole thing!

  • OLT101 ($10) Saturday AM
  • OLT201 ($15) Saturday PM
  • Boating Safety Training for canoe/kayak (free) Sunday AM
  • CPR/First Aid ($10) Sunday PM

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SC_OLT101201FirstAid_SesquiSP

Trainers and Staff

Kelly Mieszkalski (NC Chapter Outings Chair) Level-1/ OLT 101 (Basic)

Bill Gupton (NC Chapter Vice-Chair) – Assisting with OLT 101

Starr Hazard (Robert Lunz Group Chair) Level-2/OLT 201 (Advanced)

Bill Turner (Robert Lunz Group) – Assisting with OLT 201

David Hutchens (Palmetto Paddlers) – Assisting with OLT 201

Al Graves (Professor, Environmental Science) – Conservation in Outings

Chris Hall (Western Carolina Group Chair) – Boating Safety Instruction

David Hutchens/ Starr Hazard – Assisting with Boating Safety

Dan & Carolyn Wagner – Instructors, CPR/First Aid Training

Dorothy Stafford/ Lynn Turbeville/Art Seel – Logistics & Food Preparation

Signs of Spring Outing – Ginger, Fiddleheads, Little Brown Jugs, Oh My!

Eleven hikers (12 if you count our four – legged friend) enjoyed searching for signs of Spring at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve  on Saturday.  Central Piedmont Outings Leader Linda Alley made sure we didn’t miss the best ones.  Bloodroot, violets, fiddlehead ferns and (look carefully), the little brown jug flowers of the wild ginger plant.  Sorry we couldn’t get a good shot of the big osprey nest on the power tower or its resident circling above us.

photo-1

photo-2

photo 3

photo-3

photo-4

 

 

 

Charlotte Environment Committee Coal Ash Review – Apr 9, 2:00 PM

If you attend this committee meeting you get a 2-for-one bonus! Come hear about a new Charlotte Solid Waste study AND the City Coal Ash Due Diligence Review . Be sure to speak to your City Council member before or after the meeting and let them know that we need to develop a model, gold standard coal ash storage at the Charlotte Airport.

Char Enviro Comm Agenda 04_09_14

 

Don’t Miss “Years of Living Dangerously” – Starting April 13

Don’t Miss “Years of Living Dangerously” – Starting April 13

“YEARS of LIVING DANGEROUSLY is global warming like you’ve never seen it before.  Coming to SHOWTIME in April, this multi-part television event tells the biggest story of our time: climate change and the impact it’s having on people right now in the US and all over the world.  Over the course of eight episodes, we’ll report on the crippling effects of climate change-related weather events and the ways individuals, communities, companies and governments are struggling to find solutions to the biggest threat our world has ever faced.  An all-star cast of correspondents goes into the field—to Texas, Kansas, California, Colorado, New York, Maine, Montana, Washington, the Carolinas, Florida, the Middle East, Africa, the Andes, the North Pole, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the South Pacific—to meet the people and see the places affected by climate change.” (via yearsoflivingdangerously.com)

Celebrities including Matt Damon, Jessica Alba, Don Cheadle, Olivia Munn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, America Ferrera, and more are acting as correspondents to share these climate stories and solutions from around the world.

Watch for Ian Somerhalder (Lost, Vampire Diaries) interviewing Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal director, and Anna Jane Joyner, Western North Carolina Alliance activist. Parts of the episode are set right here in Asheville, NC, including Duke Energy’s Lake Julian coal plant. In 2013, City of Asheville unanimously passed a clean energy resolution. In 2014, community members are asking Duke Energy NC to stop living dangerously and move beyond coal to a clean energy future.

Years Mary Anne

 

Help Us Hold Duke Energy Accountable

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

Since millions of gallons of toxic coal ash and contaminated water spilled from an unlined Duke Energy waste pit into the Dan River in February, there’s been a lot of talk, but little action.

Coal Ash Convio.jpg

This image is of the coal ash spill at Duke Energy’s plant on the Dan River.  Photo credit: Wake Forest University Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability.

Duke Accountable Click.png

Last week, Gov. McCrory sent a letter to Duke Energy asking the company to provide options and costs for removing their toxic coal ash from unlined pits near our waterways.  He gave them the deadline of March 15 to respond.

That doesn’t mean the state will take action. But you can help change that.

It is long overdue for Duke Energy to clean up its act. That’s why we are raising $37,000 by March 15th to hold Duke Energy accountable. That’s $1,000 for every coal ash pit in North Carolina.

That’s right.  There are 37 of these unlined coal ash pits, most of them near waterways.  And with your help, we can pressure them to move these toxic coal ash pits away from our waterways and into high and dry lined landfills.

It’s easy for politicians to call for solutions in a time of emergency.  But real leadership is shown when those calls to action turn into enforceable laws with deadlines for clean up.

By acting now, you can mobilize public support across the state to call upon legislators to hold Duke Energy accountable.  Your support will rally our 50,000 members and supporters– a presence in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties–who are well positioned to take on this challenge. Please join us today in this cause!

And with more than four decades of experience in advocating for the environment before the North Carolina General Assembly and Executive branch, we are well-prepared to take this on.

Click here to help make sure that Duke Energy cleans up its toxic coal ash pits!

For people who live and play on the Dan River, things may never be the same.  But you can help make a difference for other communities across the state.

Sincerely,

Molly Diggins
State Director of the NC Sierra Club
P.S. – Every dollar you give stays right here in North Carolina. Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $37,000 to help our work to hold the Governor and legislators accountable and urge them to find cleanup solutions for the 37 toxic coal ash pits that threaten our waterways.

NC Sierra Club Coal Ash Action: Webinair Thurs April 3!

Thirsty Ad 3

Coal Ash Webinar Thursday, April 3rd

Dear Sierrans,

The massive coal ash spill into the Dan River in February was the third largest in our nation’s history. Our legislators need to take action to make sure nothing like this ever happens again in North Carolina.

We have the momentum on our side– but your legislators need to hear from their constituents. That’s where you come in.

With 46 days until the start of the legislative session on May 14, now is the best time to meet with legislators at home in their districts. The message is clear: the North Carolina General Assembly needs to hold Duke Energy accountable to clean up coal ash in three dozen unlined wet coal ash pits across the state that threaten local water supplies.

Join the NC Sierra Club staff and our allies on a webinar at 7:00 pm on April 3rd to get the training and the tools to effectively advocate and educate your legislators on coal ash.

With170 legislators to meet with, it’s time to get started securing support from your legislators for meaningful action in when the legislature reconvenes in May! Sign up today to get you and your group started.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/143018975

Title:
NC Sierra Club Coal Ash Training
Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
Location: Online

Please let me know if you have any questions about this training or what you can do make sure all of the coal ash in our state is cleaned up and moved away from our water supplies!

Cheers,
Zak Keith
Lead Organizer, NC Sierra Club

Charlotte Environment Committee to Vote on Weakening Water Protections – Apr 2, 9:00 AM

The location of the Environment Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. has changed.  The Committee will now meet at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, Room 266.

The committee will hear a recommendation from City staff members and vote on weakening the Post Construction Control Ordinance (PCCO).  Check back for additional information on this issue.

 

Charlotte Enviro Comm Apr 2 2014

A Somber Reminder – 35th Anniversary of Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster

The same folks that brought you the Dan River Coal Ash Disaster and are part of a federal criminal investigation are talking about about building 2 nuclear reactors just southwest of Charlotte in Gaffney, SC.  We need to keep the pressure on to tell Duke Energy and our elected officials that we Don’t Want Dirty Energy. We want them to clean up their act and give us Clean Nuclear Free and Carbon Free Renewable Energy!

Check out the actual NBC report from the day of the disaster and the story below.

Three Mile Island Mar 28 1979

And here’s a report from This Day in History

Mar 28, 1979: Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island

At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was built in 1974 on a sandbar on Pennsylvania‘s Susquehanna River, just 10 miles downstream from the state capitol in Harrisburg. In 1978, a second state-of-the-art reactor began operating on Three Mile Island, which was lauded for generating affordable and reliable energy in a time of energy crises.

After the cooling water began to drain out of the broken pressure valve on the morning of March 28, 1979, emergency cooling pumps automatically went into operation. Left alone, these safety devices would have prevented the development of a larger crisis. However, human operators in the control room misread confusing and contradictory readings and shut off the emergency water system. The reactor was also shut down, but residual heat from the fission process was still being released. By early morning, the core had heated to over 4,000 degrees, just 1,000 degrees short of meltdown. In the meltdown scenario, the core melts, and deadly radiation drifts across the countryside, fatally sickening a potentially great number of people.

As the plant operators struggled to understand what had happened, the contaminated water was releasing radioactive gases throughout the plant. The radiation levels, though not immediately life-threatening, were dangerous, and the core cooked further as the contaminated water was contained and precautions were taken to protect the operators. Shortly after 8 a.m., word of the accident leaked to the outside world. The plant’s parent company, Metropolitan Edison, downplayed the crisis and claimed that no radiation had been detected off plant grounds, but the same day inspectors detected slightly increased levels of radiation nearby as a result of the contaminated water leak. Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh considered calling an evacuation.

Finally, at about 8 p.m., plant operators realized they needed to get water moving through the core again and restarted the pumps. The temperature began to drop, and pressure in the reactor was reduced. The reactor had come within less than an hour of a complete meltdown. More than half the core was destroyed or molten, but it had not broken its protective shell, and no radiation was escaping. The crisis was apparently over.

Two days later, however, on March 30, a bubble of highly flammable hydrogen gas was discovered within the reactor building. The bubble of gas was created two days before when exposed core materials reacted with super-heated steam. On March 28, some of this gas had exploded, releasing a small amount of radiation into the atmosphere. At that time, plant operators had not registered the explosion, which sounded like a ventilation door closing. After the radiation leak was discovered on March 30, residents were advised to stay indoors. Experts were uncertain if the hydrogen bubble would create further meltdown or possibly a giant explosion, and as a precaution Governor Thornburgh advised “pregnant women and pre-school age children to leave the area within a five-mile radius of the Three Mile Island facility until further notice.” This led to the panic the governor had hoped to avoid; within days, more than 100,000 people had fled surrounding towns.

On April 1, President Jimmy Carter arrived at Three Mile Island to inspect the plant. Carter, a trained nuclear engineer, had helped dismantle a damaged Canadian nuclear reactor while serving in the U.S. Navy. His visit achieved its aim of calming local residents and the nation. That afternoon, experts agreed that the hydrogen bubble was not in danger of exploding. Slowly, the hydrogen was bled from the system as the reactor cooled.

At the height of the crisis, plant workers were exposed to unhealthy levels of radiation, but no one outside Three Mile Island had their health adversely affected by the accident. Nonetheless, the incident greatly eroded the public’s faith in nuclear power. The unharmed Unit-1 reactor at Three Mile Island, which was shut down during the crisis, did not resume operation until 1985. Cleanup continued on Unit-2 until 1990, but it was too damaged to be rendered usable again. In the more than two decades since the accident at Three Mile Island, not a single new nuclear power plant has been ordered in the United States.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nuclear-accident-at-three-mile-island

Sign Up Today for the “Explore Our Wild North Carolina” Challenge!

Explore Our Wild North Carolina!
And Celebrate NC Wilderness All Year Long!

Explore Our Wild North Carolina!

Hopefully by now you know that 2014 is a big year for North Carolina wilderness! Not only is this the 50th anniversary of the US Wilderness Act, it is the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Wilderness Act, which would not have passed without the persistent efforts of NC Sierra Club leaders. We have developed a program to recognize folks who visit 9 out of 12 of our wilderness areas, plus the five study areas during 2014 through July 15, 2015. Sign up now and get a free Wilderness Explorer patch!

Visit our Website!

We have a beautiful new website packed with photos and information about our wilderness areas, the history, upcoming events and outings. For more information, or if you have photos or stories to share, please contact Nancy Card, OurWildNC@gmail.com

Save the Date!

We’re having a party! On Thursday, June 12, we’ll get together in the Triangle area to celebrate NC Wilderness areas and some of the folks who saved them for us to enjoy. More information coming soon!