Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

Community Organizer
Job Opening

The job of a community organizer is to organize communities. Community organizers help to advance racial and economic justice, promote democracy, teach leadership, and develop the sustainability of communities. Community organizing reveals people's innate power and directs it towards a goal. BREDL's community organizers spend much of their time talking, meeting and working with ordinary people who request our help with a specific environmental issue or problem in their community. If you like meeting people and enjoy working with them, you have the makings of a community organizer.

To inquire about a job with us, call (336) 982-2691 or email

We are an equal opportunity employer

View Full Job Description | Posted Nov. 15, 2014

Chemical Disclosure Resolution Template to Protect Local Right-to-Know

BREDL has drafted a resolution template calling for full disclosure of chemicals to be used, stored, and transported at fracking sites, and we hope that groups across the state will adopt this resolution so that it can be presented to local governments in with support from their respective communities. The resolution is designed to be passed among organizations and local governments who can write in their own names and official status. We are asking that local groups adopt and share the resolution widely as an organizing tool in your communities.

Resolution Template
Resolution signed by BREDL Board

Soil Sampling

BREDL video clips   BREDL's Chapter the Neighborhood Environment Watch [NEW] in Alamance Co, NC gives some tips on soil sampling practices Watch Video

BREDL Timeline

NEW! Browse the Archives on our Interactive Timeline

BREDL Reflections

BREDL video clips    BREDL Reflections
- short videos of BREDL reflections

BREDL Merchandise

BREDL 30th Anniversary Merchandise is now available online at BREDL Shop

Coal Ash Disposition
The Alternative for North Carolina

BREDL's technical report which details the dangers of landfilling coal ash and recommends the proven saltstone technology for the coal ash at Duke Energy's fourteen power plants. The report entitled "Coal Ash Disposition: The Alternative for North Carolina," describes the saltstone technology which would encase the coal ash waste and isolate the toxins from the soil, air and water.

View BREDL Technical Report

BREDL In the News
30th Anniversary

Read The Jefferson Post article: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League turns 30

Read The Mountain Times article: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League turns 30

Read the Watauga Democrat article: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense celebrates 30 years

No Fracking In Stokes

No Trespassing Sign

Hydrofracking: No Trespassing No Seismic Testing Sign to post on your property

No Trespassing Sign

What's All The Fuss About Fracking?

This BREDL report highlights the main issues with hydrofracking. Updated December 2013

Download the Report

League Fund

Honors Founder

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League Board of Directors has recently approved the establishment of a fund to honor the work of Janet Marsh Zeller, who founded the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and served as its executive director for 28 years. Since July 2012, Janet has acted as a consultant to the BREDL Board Executive Committee. The honorary fund is a current fund (as opposed to an endowment fund) which will support the ongoing mission of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. It will be a continuing fund, with individual gifts accepted throughout the year. All donations to BREDL are tax-deductible.

More Details | Donate to Fund

BREDL Chapters

BREDL welcomes these new chapters:

Preserve Bent Mountain (Roanoke Co., VA) - November 2014

Tri-State Concerned Citizens (Tishomingo Co., MS) - October 2014

Citizens Preserving Floyd County (Floyd Co., VA) - October 2014

Watauga Citizens for Local Control (Watauga Co., NC) - August 2014

Concerned Citizens of Richmond County (Richmond Co., NC) - February 2014

Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (Lithonia, GA) - December 2013

Clean Air

The League comments on the proposed Clean Power Plan proposed rule under consideration by the US EPA

Dec. 1, 2014: The EPA Clean Power Plan's reliance on nuclear power, biomass and natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is misplaced. Therefore, we recommend that the EPA abandon its assumptions regarding these three methods of generating electricity. Without this baggage, the Clean Power Plan's carbon reduction goals are still achievable, at less cost and without damage to the environment and public health.

Press Release | BREDL Comments

Clean Air

Watauga Citizens Call for Expanded Protection from Pollution

Nov. 13, 2014: Today the Watauga Citizens for Local Control requested that the Watauga County Board of Commissioners adopt a buffer zone of 1,500 feet between polluting industries and residential dwellings, commercial buildings and churches. The group said that augmented buffer zones, or setbacks, would better protect people from smoke, noise and health risks caused by asphalt plants, electric power facilities, fuel storage tanks and other industrial facilities. The county already requires such setbacks from daycare centers, schools and nursing homes.

BREDL Press Release | Letter to Watauga Co. Board of Commissioners

In the News article: Citizens Group Officially Asks for Property Protection


League Spotlight: Lee & Chatham Counties, NC - "Split Estates and Forced Pooling". Fracking could bring new dangers to descendents of 1925 coal mine tragedy.

Clean Air

BREDL and Pee Dee WALL Petition EPA Regarding Piedmont Natural Gas Wadesboro Compressor Station Title V Permit

Oct. 2014: The Piedmont Natural Gas—Wadesboro Compressor Station is one of many similar units strung like beads on natural gas pipelines.  They emit huge amounts of toxic air pollution, and this one is no exception.  The permit recently issued by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality suffers from fatal flaws which result in excessive amounts of air pollution and place a disproportionate burden on low income and minority populations in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

View BREDL Press Release | Read Title V Permit Petition


Groups Take Legal Action to Halt
Licensing of 24 Nuclear Plants
Cite Failure to Comply with Court Ruling

Sept. 29, 2014: Today a coalition of 17 public interest groups filed legal actions to halt the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing of two dozen power plants. The actions were taken in response to the NRC’s failure comply with the US Court of Appeals DC Circuit order which held that the Commission must assess the long-term impacts of radioactive waste storage before issuing any new power plant licenses.

Press Release

Motion to Reopen Record | Motion to File New Contention

North Anna
Motion to Reopen Record | Motion to File New Contention

Motion to Reopen Record | Motion to File New Contention

W.S. Lee
Motion to Reopen Record | Motion to File New Contention


North Carolina Energy Coalition seems to have brought in homeless men to pose as fracking supporters at a state hearing on developing fracking operations in the state. The men were bussed 200 miles from Winston-Salem to Cullowhee, N.C., where the hearing took place, for the day.

Around 30 people, some homeless and unaware of fracking issues, were said to be bussed in by the North Carolina Energy Forum, supported by the American Petroleum Institute. Some of the men sporting “Shale Yes” T-shirts seemed confused about why they were in Cullowhee. Some were brought in from homeless shelters after being told that fracking would “help the environment”. Most seemed to not know much about the fracking process.

This happened at a meeting of the state Mining and Energy Commission at Western Carolina University. It was one of four statewide meetings to gather comments from the public about rules for shale gas exploration in North Carolina.

According to The Sylva Herald 18 or so men sported turquoise-colored “Shale Yes” T-shirts. Some of them expressed confusion about why they were in Cullowhee. A handful removed their shirts or turned them inside out after anti-fracking supporters quizzed them about their knowledge of fracking. One of the men told The Herald he stays in a Winston-Salem homeless shelter and came because he had been told it would help the environment. He said he felt misled.

Fracking protesters cried foul.

Clean Air

Groups File Lawsuit Against Duke Energy
Power Plant in Hamlet, NC

Sept. 17, 2014: Cary Rodgers, the League's NC Environmental Justice Organizer, said, "Long-time residents tell they are awakened at three o'clock in the morning by loud noises from Duke Energy's combustion turbine power plant. And the air around their homes is filled with bitter tasting smoke." He added, "We are demanding that the EPA offset the disproportionate impact of pollution on this community with a corresponding level of resources and technology to correct the ongoing environmental injustice." Reflecting on the company's shift to natural gas, Lou Zeller, Executive Director of the League, said, "The shift to natural gas is not helping at all. In fact, during the last four years the overall level of pollution at this plant has nearly tripled."

BREDL Press Release | Petition to EPA

Hyde Park Relocation

Calls for Prompt Action to Evacuate Remaining Residents

Sept. 3, 2014: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has called upon officials in Augusta to take immediate steps to move the families still living in the contaminated Hyde Park neighborhood to safer housing. In a letter addressed to the mayor, Charles Utley, Augusta resident and Campaign Director for BREDL, said, “The residents Hyde Park seek only justice and fulfillment of promises made. We are appealing to you to use the power of your office to protect public health and safety. We started this project, let’s finish it.”

BREDL Press Release | Letter to Augusta Mayor



In 1969 the Richmond County Health Department advised residents of Hyde Park their well water was unsafe because of industrial pollution. Four decades later, relocation of the community was finally approved. However, only half of the 130 families have been moved to safety. The video essay, “Waiting in a Cesspool” tells the story of those who have been left behind. Hyde Park residents seek only justice and fulfillment of promises made.

BREDL News Scroller

What if Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League earned a donation every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our cause? Well, now it can!

Sign the Petition

Make Radiation Visible Petition

Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team (BEST) Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation (MATRR) - Because It Matters

Fall 2014

The League Line: Fall 2014 issue is now available online.

What's the lowdown on nuclear power?

Mad Science

Check out this new book by Joe Mangano: "Mad Science: The Nuclear Power Experiment"

BREDL Fact Sheets

Most Recent:

March 2014: BREDL Fact Sheet: "Don't Dump Coal Ash on our Communities"

Jan. 2014: BREDL Fact Sheet - Nuclear Power $$$ - Higher electric rates for you, lower taxes and higher dividends for the power company

Toxic chemicals at Hyde Park - A Fact Sheet on Human Health Hazards

Oct. 2013: BREDL Fact Sheet - Split Estates and Property Rights - What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Sept. 2013: BREDL Fact Sheet - Duke Plans to Increase Toxic Air Pollution at Richmond County Turbines

April 2013: BREDL Fact Sheet - (no)waste confidence! Nuclear Waste Rule

April 2013: BREDL Fact Sheet - Penrose Biomass Technology proposed near Brevard, NC

March 2013: BREDL Fact Sheet - North Star Jefferson biomass and tire burner proposed for Wadley, Georgia

More Fact Sheets:

A chronological list of Fact Sheets can be found on our
BREDL Fact Sheets page.

Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. View the video.

BREDL Partners
with TERC

TERC is partnering with environmental action groups in twelve states to advance the quantitative literacy skills needed to understand and solve pressing environmental problems.

More about this partnership


Social Connection

The League Line

BREDL's Fall 2014 newsletter available online

The LEAGUE LINE: Fall 2014

- Cover: Natural Gas, Unnatural Disaster by Louis Zeller
- Director's Report: I Am Because You Are by Louis Zeller
- Sand Mining - New Fracking Threat to North Carolina by Therese Vick
Fall 2014
- BREDL on the Nation's Map - Thanks to Bungle by American Petroleum Institute Group by Sue Crotts
- Beyond Dirty Tricks by Gwen Frisbie-Fulton
- My Internship Experience with BREDL by Shengyuan Su
- Using Environmental Test Results with Community Members by Lou Zeller
- NC Mining and Energy Commission Experiences BREDL and Friends in Action During Fracking Hearings by Kate Dunnigan
- Who Regulates the Regulators? by Pastor Cary Rodgers
- Shell Bluff Concerned Citizens Potassium Iodide Program by Rev. Charles Utley

On September 2, 2014, a public forum on hydrofracking was held in Franklin, NC, moderated by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, a co-sponsor of S786, the legislation that opened NC to fracking when it passed in June, 2014. Invited speakers on the panel were Commissioner Jim Womack of the Mining and Energy Commission, Therese Vick, Healthy Sustainable Campaign Coordinator at Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Sen. Andrew Brock, R-Davie, and Jeffrey Warren, science and energy adviser for the Office of the President Pro Tempore of the NC Senate. During the question-and-answer session, pre-written questions from the audience were randomly drawn. If you would like to read additional responses to the questions posed by the public at this forum, email with "fracking forum questions" in the subject line and ask to be added to the Q&A list. This forum was held in preparation for the Mining and Energy Commission hearing in Cullowhee on September 12, 6 p.m. at the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center, 92 Catamount Road, at Western Carolina University. Video courtesy of the Canary Coalition, a grassroots environmental non-profit organization based in Sylva, NC.

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League is a regional, community-based, non-profit environmental organization. Our founding principles are earth stewardship, environmental democracy, social justice, and community empowerment.