Don’t Miss a Fracking Good Time! – March 27

Please make plans to take part in a powerful event this March 27th at 6:30 PM! Charlotte is one of only 2 North Carolina locations chosen for the national fracked communities tour. You’ll definitely want to hear the stories and learn how we can help protect our air, water, and lands.


Can you join us on Thursday, March 27th at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte to hear how fracked communities are fighting back?

Fracking wells, industrial zones, and contaminated water. Those are the realities that people across the country are living with where fracking exists. We know that North Carolina isn’t worth the risk, and some friends are coming to town to help us fight back.

“Cautionary Tales of Fracked Communities,” a nationwide speakers tour, is coming to Charlotte to help us in our fight. It’s a chance to hear from people living in the shadow of gas rigs, and learn how they are fighting back.

Thursday March 27 at 6:30 PM

Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte


234 North Sharon Amity Road

Charlotte, NC 28211

Speakers will include:

  • Karen Feridun, a grassroots activist from Kutztown, PA who is fighting against fracking in her community. She helped convince the Pennsylvania Democratic party to add a Fracking Moratorium to their party platform.
  • Jill Wiener, small business owner turned activist from New York who has been leading the charge to keep fracking out of New York.
  • Robert Nehman, a father from Iowa whose life was turned upside down after frac sand mining came to his town

The second part of the meeting will be a training on how to meet with elected officials.

Together, we can keep fracking out of North Carolina, and ensure that the next series of cautionary tales aren’t from the Tarheel state.

See you there!

Fracking Tour Sponsors

Announcing Charlotte Inner City Outings Program to Connect Youth With Nature

It’s official and we’re looking for Inner City Outings (ICO) leaders, volunteers and supporters! If you or some of your friends would like to support this great program, please contact Karan.

Do you have backpacking or outing gear sitting in the closet that you would like to donate? Karan is looking to set up a “Gear Locker” so clean out that closet and put that gear to work!.

Please join me in wishing Karan and the Charlotte ICO team a great beginning!
ICO LogoMarch 17, 2014


Charlotte Inner City Outings Program to Connect Youth With Nature

Charlotte, NC. Today, March 17, 2014, Charlotte Inner City Outings officially announced the launch of a new program to connect area youth with nature. Inner City Outings (ICO), is a community outreach program of the Sierra Club that seeks to provide urban youth and adults with positive outdoor experiences. The goal of Charlotte ICO is to allow participants to discover the beauty of wild places and learn how to enjoy and protect our wild environments. Programs like Inner City Outings help to enhance youth self-image, deal with the growing problem of too much screen time and childhood obesity, and develop community stewardship by “igniting student’s interest in the outdoors”.

Karan Barber, Charlotte ICO Chair, brings an enthusiasm and a wealth of experience to share with the community, “We’re excited to bring the Inner City Outings program to Charlotte. While we have some wonderful natural settings in the area, too many of our youth suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder. We want to get them off the couch and active in discovering their natural world”.

The Charlotte ICO Group will work with local agencies and community centers to lead hikes and other outings. The program is made possible by its volunteers who give generously of their time and skills to participate in training, receive first aid education, and lead outings. All ICO volunteer leaders undergo special training and screening to work with youth.

The first Inner City Outings took place in 1971 in San Francisco. Since then, this Sierra Club program has spread all across the country, helping youth, who normally wouldn’t have the chance to explore and care for the great outdoors. Individuals, agencies, and organizations that are interested in supporting or participating in Charlotte ICO should contact Karan Barber at or

(704) 588-3297. The only experience required is a passion to share enthusiasm for kids, teaching, the outdoors, and having fun.

For more information see the Charlotte ICO website,, and the Sierra Club ICO Website,


Karan BarberKaran Barber, Charlotte ICO Chair

Barber HikeKaran leading a recent Charlotte ICO outing

Hazards of Mountain Island Lake Coal Ash and NC Coal Ash 101

Want to know more about the hazards of the Mountain Island Lake coal ash ponds and Coal ash in North Carolina? Thanks to Sarah Behnke of We Love Mountain Island Lake and Rick Gaskins of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation for these two excellent presentations. They are a quick review of what you need to know.

Hazards of Mountain Island Lake Coal Ash

MIL Town HallMIL Coal Ash Key Facts

Coal Ash 101

Coal Ash 101 R Gaskins to NC ERC Feb 17 2014Coal Ash 101 R Gaskins to NC ERC Feb 2014

2014 Mecklenburg State of the Environment Report

The 2014 Mecklenburg State of the Environment Report has been released. Here’s background and information about the report.

Understanding the County’s Environmental Condition: 2014 State of the Environment Report

Every two years, the Land Use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA) produces a State of Environment Report (SOER). This publication helps us understand our current environmental condition, while identifying strategies for ensuring that we have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and healthy land on which to live and recreate.

The 2014 SOER provides an update from the 2012 SOER, along with trend analysis of priority environmental indicators in Mecklenburg County.

Analysis of the trend changes from 2012 to 2014 show that Mecklenburg County’s air quality could be better, surface water quality remains partially impaired, and our recycling rate has room for improvement.

Among the highlights:

Water Quality–The 2012 SOER showed that waste recycling and lake water quality were “getting better.”  In 2014, the new analysis shows this improvement has slowed down.

Commercial Waste–The amount of commercial waste going into the landfill remained the same as in 2012. The good news is that this amount is 57% below what it was in 2008.
Residential Waste–Household waste amounts remain below one ton per home, unchanged from 2012.
Recycling Center–More customers are visiting the County’s full-service centers, nearly 465,000 last year. Also, 966 tons of electronic waste (computers, phones, etc.) was collected.
Air Quality–continues to improve, with the air quality index down more than 25 percent and trending in the right direction.

This 2014 SOER expands on the traditional identification of priority environmental indicators in Mecklenburg County by providing a trend analysis for each environmental indicator during recent history. Each SOER chapter button below provides a list of recommended actions for addressing these priority environmental indicators as well as informative and fun videos.

Visit Air Quality's Chapter Page Visit Land's Chapter Page
Visit Water's Chapter Page Visit Waste's Chapter Page

Environmental Indicators
Environmental Indicators can be found through the chapter buttons above or via the table below. This website will be updated as either the indicator trend changes or as new information becomes available.

Environmental Indicators Key


Overall Air Quality


Particulate Matter

NOx, SO2, CO, Lead


Climate Change and Wildlife

Nature Preserves


Facility Planning


Commercial Waste

Yard Waste

Residential Waste

Household Hazardous Waste 




Public Involvement 


If you are interested in exploring trends back to 1987, you are encouraged to read the 2008 SOER. If you are interested in learning more about how Mecklenburg County’s State of the Environment reflects on our region, you are encouraged to read the 2010 SOER or the 2012 SOER.

The entire report is available at 2014 SOER. If you have questions, please contact LUESA Director Ebenezer Gujjarlapudi at 704-432-6201 or email.

Will You Send a Happy St. Patrick’s Day Message to Our Elected Officials?

St-Patrick's Day

Unfortunately, there is nothing green about Coal Ash!

Monday is St. Patrick’s Day. What can you do to make sure we don’t have another disaster here in the Catawba River and rivers around North Carolina?


Wish them a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and tell them we will settle for nothing less than Duke Energy’s removal of the coal ash to dry, lined storage areas away from our waterways!

For additional information click on our Coal Ash Legislation Fact Sheet

District Rep Party Phone Number Email
92 Charles Jeter Rep 919-733-5654
101 Beverly Earle Dem 919-715-2530
102 Becky Carney Dem 919-733-5827
88 Rob Bryan Rep 919-733-5607
104 Ruth Samuelson Rep 919-715-3009
99 Rodney Moore Dem 919-733-5606
100 Tricia Cotham Dem 919-715-0706
106 Carla Cunningham Dem 919-733-5807
107 Kelly Alexander Dem 919-733-5778
105 Jacqueline Schaffer Rep 919-733-5886
103 William Brawley Rep 919-733-5800

Get Outside in Mecklenburg County!

Spring Get Going Guide Now Available Online

Spring is right around the corner! Now is the time to register for programs offered by your Park and Recreation Department occurring from March until May.

Programs and events are offered for all ages at recreation centers, aquatic facilities and nature centers.

The spring guide also includes information on 2014 Park and Recreation  summer camps.

For details, visit and check out the

Get Going Spring 2014Spring 2014 Get Going Guide.

Townhall Meeting: A New Look at Coal Ash Ponds

Make plans to attend this very important Townhall Meeting sponsored by We Love Mountain Island Lake!

What: Townhall Meeting with elected officials and community leaders
When: Monday March 10, 2014  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Cook’s Presbyterian Church – Fellowship Hall
3413 Mt Holly-Huntersville Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216

Come learn the issues about the 2 high hazard coal ash ponds that threaten our drinking water and what you can do about it. See you there!

P.S. Please carpool with 2 to 3 of your friends and neighbors.

WLMIK Town Hall

In Just 24 Hours 100 People Signed Up for the Feb 25 Duke Energy Petition Delivery and Rally

We’re you one of them? Great!

If not, sign up today and help spread the word!

Have you signed the petition? If not, take 9.5 seconds and Tell Duke Energy to stop poisoning our water with coal ash.

P.S. See you on Tuesday with your sign!

P.S.S. Carpool and bring 2 or 3 friends.

P.S.S.S. Don’t say it enough. Thanks for all that you do to preserve and protect the environment!

Duke Coal Petition Flyer

Reminder – Monthly Meeting Next Wednesday – 2/26 Sometimes what happens in Vegas needs to be Shared – 2/26/14

Please join us on February 26, 2014 for an exciting discussion of an outstanding example of sustainability in a US city.

In June of 2013, Tom Perrigo, Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of Las Vegas, gave a webinar hosted by Sustainable City Network.

On 2/26/14 the Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club will present this webinar at our monthly meeting in Freedom Park.

In this one hour webinar Perrigo describes the challenges faced, the accomplishments achieved, and the forward looking sustainability goals of Las Vegas.

We will follow the presentation with a lively discussion of Charlotte’s sustainability status. If Vegas can do it, what’s going on with Charlotte?

Our meeting starts off at 6:30 PM with pizza, refreshments and a chance to meet and socialize with other Sierra Club members and friends. The business meeting and program will begin at 7:00 PM. Non-members and potential new members are very welcome!

Central Piedmont Sierra Club meetings are held in the Mahlon Adams Pavilion at Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Avenue, Charlotte, NC, 28203. Cumberland Avenue is off of the 1500 block of East Boulevard.

The program is free and open to the public and you do not have to be a member to attend.

Free parking is available.

Bring a friend or two; you’ll be glad you did! See you there

Update: Criminal probe into Duke Energy coal ash spill

Here are some videos and reports on this developing story. Check back often for additional news and reports.

While your at it, please send a strong message to Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good and demand that Duke Energy stop poisoning our water with coal ash.

Duke DENR Blocking
N.C. Governor No Longer Works for Duke Energy, But After Coal Spill, Is He Doing Their Bidding?

Democracy Now Video
Democracy Now Cosy

Subpoena looks for dirty deal in toxic spill
Rachel Maddow Video
Rachel Maddow Criminal Probe

INSTITUTE INDEX: Just how cozy are Gov. McCrory and Duke Energy?

Ash pond still dumping while Duke begins ash removal from river

Feds launch criminal probe of NC agency after coal ash spill

Grand jury opens criminal probe into Duke Energy coal ash spill

Environmental groups offering reward for evidence of wrongdoing in coal ash spill