BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE www.bredl.org
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
BREDL Chapter Spotlight


Friends of the Green Swamp
Columbus County, NC


UPDATE: Sept. 6, 2003: N.C. Division of Waste Management has returned the landfill application to Riegel Ridge, according to an article in the Sept. 6 Fayetteville Observer. A letter sent by the Division of Waste Management to the landfill partners stated that they have failed to show the state that they are financially qualified to design, construct and operate a landfill in an environmentally sensitive area.

Friends of the Green Swamp has been working to save the Green Swamp from the proposed Riegel Ridge Regional Landfill. The Green Swamp in coastal North Carolina is recognized by the United Nations’ Biosphere Reserve Program. The chapter is working closely with the Swamp Watch Action Team. Campaign slogans have included, “No landfills in the floodplain,” and “Landfills in the Floodplain isn’t just a dumb idea, its illegal.” FOGS organized to stop a biological treasure from being selected for a regional solid waste dump.

Things have been heating up lately in Friends of the Green Swamp's fight against the proposed Riegel Ridge Regional Landfill in the Green Swamp.  The NCDENR Division of Water Quality issued a 401 Water Quality Certification on December 16, 2002. This certification has been appealed by Friends of the Green Swamp and BREDL. 

On a related front, the new FEMA flood plain maps are slated to come out for Columbus County in the next few weeks.  Riegel Ridge currently has about 15 - 20 acres of their proposed footprint in the 100 year floodplain.  State regulations enacted after Hurricane Floyd prohibit siting certain things which pose significant risk to public health and safety in the 100 year flood plain - specifically including solid waste landfills.  In order to gain a variance, Riegel Ridge would have to establish that (1) it is a critical public need for the region, and (2) that there is no other feasible location outside the floodplain in the region.  Members of Friends of the Green Swamp have been actively attending County Commissioner meetings and related events to follow the flood plain issue. 

In the next few weeks, FOGS will be embarking on their annual fund raising and membership drive.

FOGS posts regular campaign updates on its website: http://friendsofthegreenswamp.wordpress.com
FOGS' informational website includes photos, maps, articles, Q & A, facts and agency letters.

Contact information:
Jeff Lane
Chairman, Friends of the Green Swamp



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posted online January 18, 2003