Hearing Set for NC Fracking Stormwater and Water Quality Rules – July 1

Fracking NC

Public invited to comment on stormwater and water quality rules for oil and gas development

DENRRALEIGH – State officials will host a public hearing on July 1 in Sanford on a proposed rule that would put in place stormwater management requirements for oil and gas exploration and production sites, and proposed revisions to four land application and wastewater reuse rules.

The public hearing is being hosted by the state divisions of Water Resources, and Energy, Mineral and Land Resources on behalf of the N.C. Environmental Management Commission. The hearing starts at 6 p.m. at the Dennis Wicker Center at 1801 Nash Street in Sanford. People wishing to speak during the hearing are asked to register starting at 5 p.m. The hearing will be recorded.

Rules discussed at this meeting will include only those related to stormwater, land application and wastewater reuse. The bulk of the rulemaking necessary for development of the state’s oil and gas regulatory program falls under the authority of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission. The Mining and Energy Commission’s rulemaking process is separate from this rulemaking by the Environmental Management Commission. Public hearings for the Mining and Energy Commission’s rules are scheduled for August.

Written comments from the public will be accepted at the meeting and may also be submitted until 5 p.m. Aug. 1. Written comments should be sent to: Evan Kane, Division of Water Resources, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1617. Written comments may also be sent by email to: Stormwater_and_LandApp_Rules@lists.ncmail.net.

The complete text of the proposed rule and proposed revisions to existing rules are available online at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/rules.

Have a Voice in Our NC National Forests – Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan Revision

Pis and Nantah Plan

The Forest Service will hold a public meeting for the plan revision on July 10,2014

At the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Asheville, NC

Discussion topics will include  (1) wildlife habitat and (2) managing for ecosystem integrity and ecosystem diversity. An information and comment station for Wild and Scenic Rivers will also be available

Tentative meeting time is from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

A meeting agenda will be posted online by July 1st

The Preliminary Need to Change the Existing Land Management Plan has been updated based on scoping comments.

Coming Next in August and September: Establishing Management Areas, Desired Conditions, Objectives, Standards and Guidelines in the Revised Plan

We anticipate six public meetings across Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in the vicinity of the six ranger districts.

They will be talking about wildlife habitat, ecosystem diversity and integrity, and Wild and Scenic Rivers.  There is going to be a presentation on Potential Additions to Wilderness.

A Powerful Show: “Freedom Summer” on PBS

Nancy and I watched this last night. Wow! Double Wow!!

This is a powerful and sobering reminder of the courage and sacrifice needed to create change in the civil rights movement. What lessons can we learn, what spark of passion and commitment can be gained to apply to our work to protect our environment and our democracy today? Watch this and be moved…

Set your DVR for WTVI on Wednesday, June 25th at 9pm!

During the summer of 1964, the nation’s eyes were riveted on Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in the nation’s most segregated state. Working together, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools, and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, with the goal of challenging the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. The campaign was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches and the bombing of 70 homes and Freedom Houses.

Visit Birkhead Mountains Wilderness

The 1984 North Carolina Wilderness Act has protected significant natural areas around North Carolina for 30 years.  To celebrate these 30 years the North Carolina Sierra Club Chapter has published http://www.ourwildnc.org to educate our membership of these important areas and their history.

The Central Piedmont Group is encouraging our members to visit these sites.  To help we will briefly feature a different State Wilderness Area at our monthly meetings.  This month’s area is Birkhead Mountains.  You can find directions to Birkhead Mountains Wilderness Area and interesting historical information at the U.S. Forest Services website, http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=49146&actid=51.

June 28 Films: “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” and “State of Conflict: North Carolina”

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
– John Muir

“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The same people the Sierra Club is fighting for attacking clean energy and climate change protection laws are the same people who are trying to restrict voting. We know that to protect our environment we must protect our democracy.”
– Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club

Here’s an opportunity to see two really interesting films that tie into the Sierra Club’s Democracy Program. Please RSVP and thanks to the organizers of these events!

Koch Brothers 2014

Movie Party in Charlotte: America Has a Koch Problem

Host: Ann H.

Where: CM Independence Reg. Library Conference Room (in Charlotte)

When: Saturday, Jun. 28, at 2:00 p.m.

What: We’re getting together to watch Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition. This acclaimed new release pulls back the curtain on Charles and David Koch, yanking them out of the shadows and exposing them for what they are: a self-interested, ultraconservative demolition crew hell-bent on crushing the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and so much more. Will you join us?

Please RSVP at Yes, I’ll be there!

State of Conflict

State of Conflict: North Carolina

Fellow Carolinian’s,

This may be the timeliest movie we have done considering the recent lifting of the fracking ban in our state. Some counties are planning to sue the state around stopping the process. Please see the attached flier and come out for this movie and a planning session afterwards considering what we in Charlotte might do.

Sacred Activist at Unity of Charlotte

Learn How To Put Solar On It: June 24 – “Energizing Charlotte with Solar Power”

put-solar-on-it-save-money

Have you been considering solar energy for your home? Find out why now is the time to join the solar revolution going on in the greater Charlotte area! Solarize Charlotte offers group volume discounts; free financial analysis and site evaluation and expert installation by the Renewable Energy Design Group, L3c (RED Group); and, an easy financing option by Admirals Bank through their expedited solar loan process. Act now to take advantage of the special Solarize Charlotte program which ends July 31st. Make plans to join us for this informative and energizing program!

Energizing Charlotte with Solar Power
Making Residential Solar Easy and Affordable
June 24th Free Program and Tour

Tuesday, June 24th
Tours from 6:30 – 7:00 PM (Please RSVP to cleanerischeaper@gmail.com)
Program from 7:00 – 8:00 PM

Myers Park Baptist Church
The Cornwell Center – Learning Center Room
2001 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28207

For more information on Solarize Charlotte go to CleanerIsCheaper.com or call (919) 324-6508

Energizing Charlotte with Solar Power June 24

The Fierce Urgency of Now! – June 23rd Moral Monday

A Mass Moral Monday Event will be held at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh on Monday, June 23rd. This short video reveals what that event will be and why all North Carolinians should consider being a part of it.

Note: Sierra Club policy states that “Conservation actions may not include civil disobedience. No chapter, group, nor other Club entity shall encourage, request or direct any person to violate the law.” This information is provided so that individuals participating are aware of possible non-violent civil disobedience at the event.

The final Moral Monday of this summer takes place June 23, and the NAACP has issued a special call to clergy to be present in stoles or clerical collars.

The legislative short session is expected to end soon, so Monday’s rally provides one more chance for social justice advocates to come together and to make our voices heard before our elected officials.

Schedule for the afternoon:

Pre-Rally Meeting:
3 p.m.
Martin Street Baptist Church
1001 East Martin Street, Raleigh

Attendance at this meeting is critical for anyone planning to participate in non-violent civil disobedience.

Rally:
5 p.m.
Halifax Mall (Behind the General Assembly)
16 West Jones Street, Raleigh

Moral Monday June 23 2014

 

EPA Public Hearing on Carbon Pollution – July 29th, ATL

Sign up today to attend this important EPA hearing! For additional details or questions, contact Zak Keith,  Lead Organizer
North Carolina Sierra Club, at zachary.keith@sierraclub.org or (321) 356-6603.

EPA Carbon 40%

Public Hearings: Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

EPA will hold public hearings for the Clean Power Plan proposed rule. The hearings will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views or arguments concerning the proposed action.

Registration is only required for individuals who wish to present oral testimony; registration is not required to attend and listen to testimony at the public hearings.

July 29, 2014
Atlanta, Georgia

9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (EST)
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
Main Tower Bridge Conference Area, Conference Room B
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Information and directions to EPA’s Atlanta office
Register for the hearing

If you would like to preregister to speak at the hearing, please complete the form or contact Ms. Pamela Garrett by email: garrett.pamela@epa.gov; or by telephone: (919) 541-7966. You may also register in person on the day of the hearing, and will be accommodated as time allows.

 

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – June 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

We know it’s hot all across the state, and things are certainly heating up in Raleigh right now as the legislature settles in for its final weeks of short session.  As expected, one of the last bills the legislature will consider is going to be one that looks for a solution to our coal ash crisis. We have a real opportunity to get meaningful legislation passed on coal ash, but we are going to need you to be a part of this.  You can read more about the latest coal ash developments below.

Also below, you’ll find a recap of our recent wilderness celebration, a write-up of this month’s featured wilderness area, and plenty more! We hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Footnotes online, and as always, thanks for your constant support for our state’s air, water, and natural places.

Cheers,

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

Take Action: Speak Up on Coal Ash

As you know, legislative leaders vowed to find a solution to our state’s coal ash crisis after 40,000 tons of coal ash and millions of gallons of contaminated waste water spilled into the Dan River in February.  This week, Senate leaders offered some significant improvements to the initial plan offered by the Governor, but we need you to encourage legislators to strengthen the bill even more.

There are several areas of the bill where legislators could increase protections for North Carolinians and our state’s waterways.  Click here to find out what needs to be strengthened and how you can take action today!

 

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Breaking News on Billboards!

Please thank Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg) for just this morning successfully amending a regulatory reform bill that is moving at the speed of light through the House. Her successhul amendment rebukes a newly proposed set of giveaways to the billboard industry.

The provisions in S 493, which has morphed into the 2014 Regulatory Reform Act, would have given the billboard industry new concessions for tree-removals on exit ramps.  It would also have required any city or county to allow a billboard to be rebuilt, even if it no longer conforms with current requirements.  Please take a moment to thank Rep. Carney for efforts to block another giveaway to the billboard industry.

 

Thirty Years of Wilderness Celebrated in One Evening

On June 12, people traveled from all across the state and gathered in Raleigh to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act.  The law protected 68,700 acres of wilderness areas in North Carolina and an additional 25,816 acres of wilderness study areas.

Awards were given to two Sierrans who played pivotal roles in passing the landmark legislation, Dr. Robbie Cox and Anne Taylor.  

Robbie is a three time national club President who recently stepped down from the national Board last year after nearly two decades of services.  Anne was once a leader of the LeConte Chapter (North and South Carolina) Chair and later Hunt administration official. 

Without the work of Robbie, Anne, and many other volunteers, North Carolinians would have fewer places to connect with nature and experience wilderness.

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Click here to view photos from the celebration in Raleigh! (Big thanks to David R. Keith the photos!)

Breaking news!  Dr. Robbie Cox will the guest on WUNC’s The State of Thing’s on Thursday, June 19 at noon!  June 19 is the actual anniversary of the day that the NC Wilderness Act became law.  Click here to visit the WUNC webpage where you will be able to stream the program live this Thursday!

 

Write-In Success in the Mountains

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Thanks to local Sierra Club volunteers, voters in Buncombe County will have a choice when they go to the polls to vote for the County Board of Commissioners in November.  The photo to right shows Rich Wasch and Karen Ziff, just two of the many volunteers who worked to gather signatures throughout Buncombe County.

Volunteers gathered more than enough signatures to qualify Nancy Waldrop, an unaffiliated candidate, to appear on the ballot.  The reason this is a big deal is because the only other candidate on the ballot is committed to rolling back key environmental protections, including Buncombe County’s goal, adopted in 2013, to reduce the county’s carbon footprint by 80%. 

Thanks to Wenoca group chair Judy Mattox, 95 Sierrans gathered over 4,000 signatures (far more than the 2,222 needed) to get Waldrop on the ballot. But with the November election just around the corner, it’s doubtful that this is the last volunteer effort we will see in this race.

 

NC Volunteers Get a Well Deserved Recognition

At the NC Sierra Club’s Executive Committee on May 31, three volunteers were recognized for their contributions to the organization.  Chapter Chair Robert Scull awarded the following volunteers with a certificate and small gift:

  • Nancy Card was recognized for her role in reorganizing the Cape Fear Group three years ago, helping reinvigorate the chapter outings program, and taking a leadership role on the Wilderness Committee.  Nancy was rightfully praised for her leadership and communications skills.  We are thankful her continuing contributions to the NC Sierra Club.
  • Kelly Mieszkalski was recognized for her significant contributions to the chapter outings program.  Kelly has attended national conferences to make contacts and bring back ideas, been part of organizing two outings leader trainings, helped to get new hike leaders started, and initiated tools and processes to make the outings more prominent and well-attended.  Her contributions to the state chapter and the revived Headwaters group are highly valued.
  • Maribeth Weinman was presented an award for her remarkable prowess as the Treasurer for the North Carolina Chapter.  As Chapter Treasurer, Maribeth’s work is essential for maintaining the fiscal integrity of the organization. It is very fitting that Maribeth was praised for her high standards of accuracy, timeliness and completeness.
Volunteer awards.jpg

From left to right: Robert Scull, Maribeth Weinman, Nancy Card, and Kelly Mieszkalski.  Photo credit: Harvey Richmond.

 

Wilderness Spotlight: Shining Rock Wilderness

This month, we take a look at the Shining Rock Wilderness. This protected area was created by the 1964 Wilderness Act which celebrates its 50th anniversary this September.

North Carolina was one of only two states east of the Mississippi where wilderness areas were protected by the 1964 Wilderness Act; New Hampshire was the other. And Shining Rock Wilderness was one of two wilderness areas in North Carolina protected by the first ever wilderness law, which signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Linville Gorge was the other North Carolina area protected in 1964.

Today Shining Rock Wilderness contains 18,483 acres. Without knowing it, popular culture exposed many to the area through the Charles Frazier novel and subsequent film adaptation titled Cold Mountain.  Cold Mountain provides Shining Rock’s highest peak at 6,030 feet.

Those wishing to venture to this wilderness area may want to read an account of camping in the area written by Bill Gowan of Raleigh. His writing can be found on the OurWildNC.org blog page, and is certainly worth a read!

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Upcoming Outings

June 21, 10:00 a.m. – Moses Cone Memorial Park – Blowing Rock

Join outings leader Steve Copulski for a 5 mile hike on the first day of summer  in the Moses Cone Memorial Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock.  Enjoy the cooler mountain weather and great views from the top of the Flat Top Tower.  The group will be hiking on fairly smooth carriage trails that gradually ascend to the top of Flat Top Mountain.  We’ll meet at Moses Cone at 10 AM. 

Contact Steve Copulsky to sign-up at scopulsky@mindspring.com or 704-543-7493.  Limited to 15 hikers.

June 21, 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Quarry Hike and Eat/Play at Sharky’s! – Durham

Join the Headwaters group for 3.2 mile moderate hike along the relatively new section of the Mountains To Sea/Laurel Ridge Trail, up and around the beautiful Durham Quarry, and back.  Wear closed-toe hiking or walking shoes and bring a water bottle for the hike.  For those who dare–swimmers and dippers–wear your bathing suit, bring your river shoes and a towel if you want to take a dip in the quarry or the river!  The quarry is DEEP water and appropriate for strong swimmers ONLY.  There are also spots along the river right beside quarry to get wet/dip your feet in.

There is likely to be a good bit of party-trash around the quarry so bring a bag if you are willing to help clean up a bit (leader will have extras, too).

For more information, contact Kelly Mieszkalski (kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com, 919.624.2225). You may also sign up via the group’s Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/NC-Sierra-Club-Headwaters-Group/events/189497522/

June 28,  8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk – Asheboro, NC

Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group and Nicole Petersen, a zoologist, marine scientist, and the NC Zoo’s Visitor Educator for our first NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk.  The zoo is about much more than showing off cute animals to the public—it has a serious environmental and conservation mission to protect, preserve, and rehabilitate threatened and endangered animal and plant species both in the U.S. and around the globe.

All participants will be required to purchase a zoo admission ticket.  There will be an additional $7/person fee for the Endangered Species Walk.  Our group will be limited to 20 participants. Your cell phone number will be required to register (this is for trip communication only–we do not give out telephone numbers to third parties.) 

Please contact Vance Parker to register by Wednesday, June 25th via e-mail at vance@vparkerlaw.com or by telephone before 10:00 p.m. at (336) 768-0481.  This is a family-friendly outing suitable for all ages.

August 22 – 24 – Outings Leader Training Weekend at Hanging Rock State Park

Outings Leader Training weekend for experienced and/or aspring new outings leaders at Hanging Rock State Park.  Cabin camping will be provided. You may also reserve campsites on your own.

More information coming soon!

Contact NC Chapter Outings Chair, Kelly Mieszkalski (kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com, 919.624.2225) with any questions.

Want to know the latest? Join us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.

Money Flower

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Community Meetings on Park and Rec Projects

 

MeckPark & Rec

Community Meetings Set for Park, Greenway and Nature Preserve Projects

Over the next several months, Park and Recreation will host several community information sessions to update residents on the design and enhancement of various parks, nature preserves and greenways throughout the County. Below is the meeting schedule, which is also available at www.parkandrec.com if you or your constituents want to attend. All meetings begin at 6 p.m.:

 

Date

Topic

Location

June 9

Campbell Creek Greenway Information Session #2 (Design Phase for 1.0 mile greenway extension from W.T. Harris Boulevard to Lockmont Drive)

Hornet’s Nest Girl Scout Council Office, 7007 Idlewild Road

June 10

Reid Neighborhood Park Information Session #3 (Design Phase for a new neighborhood park)

Reid Park Academy, 4108 West Tyvola Road.

 

June 11

Evergreen Nature Preserve (Design Phase for Phase 1 development of a new nature preserve)

Winterfield Elementary School, 3100 Winterfield Place

June 18

Flat Branch Nature Preserve

(Design Phase for Phase 1 development of a new nature preserve)

Polo Ridge Elementary School, 11830 Tom Short Road

July 15

Veterans Park Shelter (Design Phase for renovation of existing indoor shelter)

Veterans Park, 2136 Central Avenue

July 29

West Charlotte Recreation Center (Design Phase for renovation of existing facility)

West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2401 Kendall Drive

August 4

Southwest Community Park (Design Phase for 2 ball fields, parking, shelter)

Southview Recreation Center, 1720 Vilma Street

August 11

Long Creek Greenway Information Session #2 (Design Phase for 1.0 mile greenway from I-77 to Dixon Branch at Northlake Target store)

Hornet’s Nest Park, 6301 Beatties Ford Road

August 19

Hornet’s Nest Park Shelter (Design Phase for new large indoor shelter)

Hornet’s Nest Park, 6301 Beatties Ford Road

September 8

Irwin Creek Greenway Information Session #2 (Design Phase for .5 mile greenway extension from Remount Road to West Blvd)

Revolution Park Sports Academy,1225 Remount Road

September 15

Cordelia Park Shelter/Charles Park Shelter/Cordelia Underpass (Design Phase for new indoor shelter at Cordelia Park , an open-air shelter at Charles Park and an extension of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway under Parkwood Avenue to Cordelia Park)

Belmont Center, 700 Parkwood Avenue

September 18

Ramsey Creek Swim Beach (Design Phase for new swim beach at Ramsey Creek Park)

Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue

 

 

For more information, contact Jim Garges, Park and Recreation director, at 704-335-5470 or via email.