NC Offshore Wind Power – Areas Identified for Development!

North Carolina offshore wind energy has taken a big step forward! Check out the announcement below.

Perhaps even bigger news is that the Interior Dept Blows Off Koch Stranglehold On Offshore Wind Power! From this article:

Offshore Wind Power For North Carolina

The Koch lobbying effort has been highly active in North Carolina, but it looks like the offshore wind thing is going to happen there, too.

The latest Obama Administration wind announcement (here’s that link again) defines three Wind Energy Areas named Kitty Hawk (122,405 acres), Wilmington West (51,595 acres), and Wilmington East (133,590 acres).

While the sites still have to pass environmental assessments, Interior has taken steps to minimize future Koch-style legal hurdles by pre-clearing the designated areas:

Consistent with the Interior Department’s ‘Smart from the Start’ strategy for offshore wind, each of the three Wind Energy Areas has been designed to make available areas that are attractive for commercial offshore wind development, while also protecting important viewsheds [note: that would be the Koch thing, regarding Cape Wind], sensitive habitats and resources and minimizing space use conflicts with activities such as military operations, shipping and fishing.

NC Wind Areas

Wind Energy Areas identified offshore NC

August 12, 2014 | By Barbara Vergetis Lundin

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified three Wind Energy Areas — totaling approximately 307,590 acres — offshore North Carolina for potential commercial wind energy development. This is an important step for North Carolina in harnessing the wind energy potential that lies along the Atlantic Coast.

This announcement builds on BOEM’s recent activities to grow offshore renewable energy through the leasing of Wind Energy Areas, having already awarded five commercial wind energy leases off the Atlantic coast: two non-competitive leases for the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound and an area off Delaware, and three competitive leases — including two offshore Massachusetts-Rhode Island and another offshore Virginia.

The Wind Energy Areas in the North Carolina announcement include the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Areas (about 122,405 acres), the Wilmington West Wind Energy Areas (about 51,595 acres) and the Wilmington East Wind Energy Areas (about 133,590 acres).

The three Wind Energy Areas have been designed to make available areas that are attractive for commercial offshore wind development while protecting important viewsheds, sensitive habitats and resources, and minimizing space use conflicts with activities such as military operations, shipping and fishing.

For example, BOEM worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that development in the identified areas would not pose significant risks to navigational safety. BOEM also worked with the National Park Service to address concerns regarding potential visual impacts to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Bodie Island Lighthouse. As a result, BOEM refined the areas originally considered for commercial wind energy development during the process of defining the Wind Energy Areas.

Before any leases are offered for competitive auction, BOEM will complete an Environmental Assessment to determine potential impacts associated with issuing leases and approving site assessment activities in the Wind Energy Areas, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. If leases are issued, any proposal for a commercial wind energy facility will require a construction and operations plan and a site-specific environmental analysis.

BOEM expects to hold additional competitive auctions for wind energy areas offshore Massachusetts and New Jersey in the coming year.

For more:- see the announcement

http://www.fierceenergy.com/story/wind-energy-areas-identified-offshore-nc/2014-08-12

Join the team and make a huge difference – People’s Climate March

You can make this a tipping point.

RSVP now

Sign up to volunteer –
and make the People’s Climate March one for the history books!

Friends  –

What do you have in common with Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, and Barack Obama?

You’ve all chosen not to simply accept the status quo, but to stand up and take action in your communities. That’s what truly creates change, and that’s why I’m so excited that you’ve signed up to be a part of the People’s Climate March — the biggest climate march in history.

You have the power to make this a tipping point — but to achieve that goal we need leaders to step up and volunteer. Can we count on you?

There’s a lot to do to ensure our message is heard loud and clear on September 21st– phone banking, flyering, and recruiting– but when we march down the streets of New York alongside tens of thousands of activists from around the country, it will be because of people like you who chose to be a bigger part of this movement.

Click here to let us know how you can help — making calls, handing out flyers, or anything else you can think of!

Once you sign up, I’ll contact you to help you get started. You can commit as little as five hours a week — or more if you’re available! Feel free to email me with any questions about how you can make a difference.

Thanks for all you do. Look forward to hopefully organizing with you!

Dan Sherrell
Sierra Club Organizer

P.S. Volunteering is more fun with friends! Click here to forward this message to five of your friends and family and share this on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out.

Making Public Comments on North Carolina’s Proposed Fracking Rules

This Wednesday and Friday, next Monday, and Sept 12th there will be public hearing on proposed fracking rules for NC. Please try to make one of the hearings and speak out! Here’s some background information about the issues to help you prepare your comments. More information to follow.

Making Public Comments on North Carolina’s Proposed Fracking Rules

Public hearings on the state’s proposed fracking rules start on August 20.  Below is information about the meetings themselves, as well as, information that can help you create constructive comments.

The dates, times, and locations for the public hearings are as follows:

August 20, 2014 – Raleigh Public Hearing

NCSU- McKimmon Center, Raleigh, NC from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

August 22, 2014 – Sanford Public Hearing

Wicker Civic Center, Sanford, NC from 5:00 to 9:00pm.

August 25, 2014 – Reidsville Public Hearing

Rockingham County High School, Reidsville, NC from 5:00 to 9:00pm.

September 12, 2014 – Cullowhee Public Hearing

Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center- WCU, Cullowhee, NC from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

There are a wide range of issues related to fracking upon which you may wish to comment. Click on one of the topics below to get more information about that topic.  Feel free to use this information in your talking points.  And if you have any questions about the hearings or other ways you can contribute, please contact Zak Keith, lead organizer for the NC Sierra Club.

Topics related to the proposed fracking rules:

Air Quality

Long-Term Contamination

 

Water

Baseline Testing

Fracking Chemicals

Click here to visit NC DENR’s page where you can read the proposed rules and find more information related to the Mining & Energy Commission.

 

 

Air Quality

Toxic air emissions from fracking operations are a threat to public health and the environment, but the rules proposed by the Mining and Energy Commission fail to take the most basic actions needed to address air pollution. The MEC is authorized to regulate toxic air emissions from drilling operations.

Fracking operations will likely be a source of regional nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. More of these kind of emissions will make it more difficult for the Triangle area to comply with federal air quality standards. The MEC should limit these emissions from fracking operations.

Fracking operations will likely require many diesel truck trips. Diesel truck exhaust contains fine particles and air toxics including carcinogens 1,3-butadiene, acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene and formaldehyde. The MEC should limit these emissions from fracking operations.

There is a federally approved (but not yet required) method of capturing and controlling some toxic air emissions from fracking wellheads – called ‘green completions’. The MEC should require all gas wells drilled in NC to have green completions under rules 5H .1308 (Permit Conditions) and 5H .1614 (Wellhead Requirements).

The MEC should require that fracking operators drilling near high occupancy buildings conduct continuous air quality monitoring to protect public health in Rule 5H .1308.

 

 

Long-Term Contamination

Fracking operations may cause soil and groundwater contamination over the long-term but yet the MEC proposed rules lack effective remedies for neighbors of fracking operations who may suffer these impacts. Fracking operations require storage and use of a variety of chemicals including brines, corrosive minerals and radioactive materials – which, if mismanaged, can cause long-lasting soil and water contamination.

The MEC proposed rules rely heavily on self-reporting of spills and violations and self-corrective actions by fracking operators in 5H .2005.  The MEC should require soil and water testing as a component of a reclamation plan under 5H .2102, with clear requirements for soil and groundwater remediation if contamination is found. The certainty of such testing is best deterrent to non-compliance with 5H .2005.

 

 

Water

Fracking generates huge volumes of wastewater that may contain chemicals, carcinogens and a variety of contaminants.  There is no safe way to dispose of this wastewater in North Carolina and the MEC proposed rules lack critical safeguards to protect public health and the environment from contaminated wastewater. A single fracking well can use up to 6 million gallons of water and much of this water eventually flows back out of the well as flowback wastewater.  The flowback water can get contaminated from chemicals added in for the fracking operations and may include naturally occurring contaminants from underground – like salts, heavy metals and sometimes radioactive materials. Further, NC does not have water quality standards for many fracking contaminants.

The MEC proposed rule 5H .2002 would mandate a state-approved waste disposal plan before fracking may begin. This plan could identify a waste disposal facility for fracking wastewater – but there is no requirement that the facility actually be permitted, built and running. The MEC should require that plans identify facilities that are actually up and running in Rule 15A NCAC 5H .2002(d)(6).

The MEC should disallow transportation of fracking wastewater to any facility that will discharge a contaminant listed by the federal government as a known or suspected carcinogen, teratogen, toxicant or endocrine disruptor. This change would strengthen Rule 15A NCAC 5H .2003(i).

The MEC should require that all wastewater be managed in a closed loop system.

Accidents happen and the MEC rules should be written to protect public health and the environment in the case of spills. The proposed rules do not require operators to submit contingency plans for spills associated with drilling operations. The MEC should require that fracking operations have a spill prevention and response plan for all reportable spills under Rule .2005 as a condition of any permit under .1304.

 

 

Baseline Testing

Fracking operations have the potential to contaminate surrounding soil and water. Baseline data is information collected ahead of time to be used to measure any future changes against. The MEC should require that fracking operators collect extensive baseline data on drinking water prior to drilling to be able to tell if that water is contaminated by fracking. Baseline testing should go along with monitoring requirements to ensure that the state and public can evaluate long-term  impacts of fracking.

NC law requires four samples in the two years following drilling. The MEC should extend the requirement for baseline testing from 2 years to 6 years after drilling.

NC law says that operators are responsible for paying for baseline testing but is unclear as to who is responsible for doing the baseline testing. Nonetheless, the proposed MEC rules say that if an owner does not conduct baseline testing, they waive the legal protections of presumptive liability (meaning that the operator is assumed to be liable for contamination within a certain area unless shown otherwise). The MEC should require that operators implement baseline testing programs utilizing third party labs.

 

 

Chemicals

Fluids used to frack generally contain many chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens. Over 750 chemicals are known to have been used in fracking. Not all chemicals used in fracking operations are required to be disclosed; some are allowed to be kept secret if they qualify as trade secrets.

The MEC should require fracking operators to disclose all chemicals used in fracking operations. At a minimum, the MEC should require disclosure of constituent chemicals and their chemical abstract numbers for all chemicals in drilling and fracking fluids. Further, the MEC should require that when a formula for a fracking fluid is a trade secret,that component chemicals still be disclosed and made public – to ensure protection of water quality.

Test your science smarts. Get a free sticker.

Oh, the things people say…

True or False:

There’s “no global warming in North America.”

That's not science  Yes, that's science!

Okay, maybe that’s an easy one—that was Fox News inaccurately reporting the very real impacts we’re already seeing from global warming.

But it’s not far off from the ridiculous things people say about science. It’s up to us to tell science fact from science fiction. Can you spot it? Choose your answer to get started.

take the quiz, get a sticker

“Wind is such an unreliable source of electricity that coal plants are required to operate around the clock as backup for wind power.” —fossil-fuel funded front group ALEC

“Every major review of the scientific literature exonerates sugar as the cause of any disease, including obesity.” —The Sugar Association

More and more these days special interests go out of their way to spread misinformation and undermine science—and the truth isn’t always easy to see.

That’s why we want to make sure you can spot the difference between science fact and science fiction! Take our Got Science or Not Science quiz today and get a free “Got Science?” sticker.

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Sierra Club have teamed up to fight back against those who mislead the public about climate change and other vital issues. We want to expose disinformation and corporate “counterfeit science” and help scientists to do real cutting-edge research free from political interference.

So…do you think you can spot the fake? We’ve gathered quotes about climate change, deforestation, even dragons! It’s up to you to determine whether each quote has got science or if it’s not science. Click here to take the quiz.

And once you’ve demystified the misinformation, feel free to show off your smarts to your friends and let them know how they can get a free “Got Science?” sticker too.

It’s really that simple: Take the quiz. Get the sticker. Tell your friends. Stand up for Science. Done.

It’s up to us to defend science and ensure that decisions about our health, safety, and environment are based on sound science—not corporate hype and disinformation.

Sincerely,
Your friends at the Union of Concerned Scientists and Sierra Club!

Your ride to NYC is coming soon!

 

RSVP now

We’re working to secure a Charlotte bus to New York City!

Until details are confirmed, sign up to show your interest AND help spread the word. Details and more information to follow!

 

Sign up now to reserve your seat — find a bus or train to the climate march!

Friends,

In just six weeks, you’re going to be part of history.

Thank you for signing up to join the People’s Climate March here in New York City — the biggest climate march in history. We’re taking to the streets right before world leaders gather in New York for an historic UN summit, and we can make sure that President Obama gets the message: Lead the world in addressing climate change.

Planning your trip to NYC for the march just got a whole lot easier. Thanks to volunteers from all around the country, there are already dozens of buses and trains planned to take folks to and from the march. Now that you’ve signed up for the march, you can find a bus or train nearby and buy a ticket or reserve a seat.

Check out the list of buses and trains, then sign up to make sure you have a seat!

There’s no doubt this will be huge, and it’s getting bigger by the day. As we get closer to September 21st, more and more buses and trains will be added as people around the country step up to coordinate travel from their hometowns.

I’ll keep you in the loop with more details about the march soon, but for now, circle September 21st on your calendar — and find your ride!

Thank you for all you do,

Dan Sherrell
Sierra Club Organizer

Citizen’s Climate Hearing in Charlotte September 9th – Put it on your calendar!

EPA Carbon 40%

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan is a historic measure calling for strong carbon pollution reductions to combat the worst effects of climate disruption. Now in the public comment period, the EPA needs to hear from concerned citizens that want strong protections from carbon pollution. This is a critical moment for North Carolinians to make sure our voice is heard. Citizens from across NC will gather at Myers Park Baptist Church to give oral testimony, which will be recorded and submitted as official comments to the EPA. Join Sierra Club and our partners to call on the EPA to take swift and strong action on climate for North Carolina.

Citizen’s Climate Hearing

Myers Park Baptist Church

Heaton Hall 

1900 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Sept 4 – “Understanding the Climate Change Problem and Seeking Solutions”

Make plans to attend this timely and informative program!

Join the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room and the Sierra Club Central Piedmont Group  as we welcome Dr. Jason West of UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. West will be presenting a lecture entitled, “Understanding the Climate Change Problem and Seeking Solutions” at the University City Regional Library, 301 East W.T. Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC on Thursday, September 4th, from 6:00 until 8:30 PM.

Climate Change Solutions