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


Charlotte City Council to Consider Airport Coal Ash Disposal – Mar 24, 4:00 PM

Today, March 24th, the Charlotte City Council will meet at 4:00 PM in Room 267 of the Government Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East Fourth St., Charlotte, NC 28202 to consider the plan for the Riverbend coal ash disposal. Below is information about the meeting as well as some background information.

Riverbend Coal Ash City Council Meeting 03-24-14

The City will only be voting on whether to move forward with gathering information and studying this possibility.

Background Information

Records show Duke, Charlotte came close to airport coal ash plan in 2013
By Ely Portillo
March 18, 2014

But through a public records request Tuesday, the Observer received documents showing that the plan had progressed to the point of having a draft contract ready, a draft statement announcing the project and plans for an Oct. 28 presentation to City Council.
On Friday, the city said in a press release that it was “invited to review” Duke’s proposal last week. But documents show city staff had already honed their message for the public and elected officials last year, as the proposal moved toward fruition.
Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble signed a confidentiality agreement Aug. 9, promising not to disclose the proposal.
“The City of Charlotte is evaluating how each partner takes measures to ensure that coal combustion products are not hazardous and are safe,” the draft statement read. One city staffer circled that phrase and noted, “I’ve said above it is safe, so why (are) we evaluating?”
Read more here:

Coal Ash Could Help Airport, But Waste Ponds Have More Pollutants
By Ben Brasford
March 14, 2014

For the past seven years, Duke has been providing coal ash for landfill to the Asheville Regional Airport for no cost. A similar deal in Charlotte would be right up the alley of an airport that prides itself on the lowest-cost of its size in the nation. That is, Phocas says, if it is safe.
“We still need to take a look at—even if we are fully encapsulating it—what are the risks to the residents, to the water quality, too,” he says.

Read more here:

Details scant on plan to put coal ash at Charlotte Douglas

By Ely Portillo
March 14, 2014

Environmental advocates said Duke’s proposal could be a better solution for the ash than where it sits now, next to the lake that provides drinking water for Charlotte.
But they still see potential problems, such as the airport’s proximity to the Catawba River, streams that drain to Lake Wylie and groundwater sources for residents, and the sheer number of unanswered questions about the plan.
“A lot depends on the execution,” said Rick Gaskins, executive director of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. His group will also present to City Council.
“Is it perfect? Is it what I’d like to see and do in the future? Maybe not, but it is important to get this ash off the drinking water of 830,000 people.”
See also – Read the letter from Duke Energy to Charlotte officials and Duke Energy proposes storing coal ash at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Read more here:

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