Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

Additional Information

Thinking about getting your groundwater tested? Learn the basics with these resources.

Statistics For Action

No Fracking In Stokes

BREDL Hydrofracking Campaign

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

BREDL comments to Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy regarding proposed fracking regulations

Dec. 15, 2015: "The currently proposed regulations for oil and gas drilling in Virginia would not protect citizens from even the most minor effects of this hazardous practice. They would instead allow a cascading series of harmful practices to compound already existing realities of climate change, sea level rise, land subsidence, and greenhouse gas emissions that would have game-changing effects on the state of Virginia as a whole."

Read BREDL comments

Upcoming Event

What: Free Public Reception for Water Warriors multi-media exhibit with artists, Michael Premo and Andrew Stern / The new series of short films Fracking Stories will be screened
Where: Chatham Mills Performing Arts Center 480 Hillsboro St. Pittsboro, NC
When: Tuesday, May 19th 6:30 - 8:30pm
Wine & Hors d'oeuvres will be served / Kid Friendly
Contact: Molly Murphy 910-342-9000 for more information or to schedule a tour during the week of May 18 - 22nd.

This event is presented by Appalachian Voices, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Clean Water for North Carolina, Haw River Assembly, and Working Films

League Calls for Ban on Fracking in Public Forests

Jan. 5, 2015: Today in a letter to the United States Forests Service, The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) released a statement calling for a ban on all hydraulic fracturing and oil and gas development activities in national forests, as well as restricted use of timber harvest and production, chemical treatment, and prescribed burning, with special protections for designated Wilderness Areas. The statement by BREDL’s Executive Director, Lou Zeller, was submitted to the Forest Supervisor for the National Forests of North Carolina, Kristin Bail, in response to the public comment period for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests 15 Year Plan Draft Revision. The final plan will determine the standards, outcomes and desired conditions for Nantahala and Pisgah Forests, which together span over one million acres in western NC along the Appalachian Mountains in eighteen counties.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Comments

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

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.

League Calls Upon Mining Commission to
Hold Additional Hearings on Fracking

Aug. 25, 2014: Reidsville- Today, in a statement to the NC Mining and Energy Commission, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) demanded that the state the hold additional hearings on the rules for hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. BREDL’s objections to the hearing process centered on the lack of public participation. The statement, delivered in testimony before the MEC public hearing in Reidsville, said that the current hearing process does not allow all citizens to publicly address the commission, that each hearing is limited to only four hours and that many attendees who sign up to speak are arbitrarily eliminated.

BREDL Press Release

Residents call for Frack-Free WNC

July 16, 2014: Residents call for Frack-Free WNC

BREDL Executive Director Lou Zeller spoke during a fracking Q&A session in Marshall, NC

View The News-Record (Madison County) article

League Initiates Legal Action Petitioning Mining and Energy Commission to Protect Communities From Fracking Air Emissions

Raleigh, North Carolina-August 8, 2014: Today Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) presented the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) with a formal petition requesting that the MEC develop rules to control and monitor air emissions from fracking sites.

The League's petition points to the need for action, stating: "Air emissions from hydraulic fracturing are affecting public health in other states. The recommendation and adoption of the Rule would protect the residents who may find themselves in proximity to gas fracking operations in North Carolina."

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Petition

Public Comment Opportunities on
Fracking in North Carolina

Mining and Energy Commission is seeking public input on proposed rules for regulating oil and gas development in North Carolina

Public Hearing in Raleigh

10 am – 2 pm
Aug. 20
at the McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman St.

The complete text of the proposed rules and proposed revisions to existing rules are available online at:

Public Hearing in Sanford

5 pm - 9 pm
Aug. 22
at the Wicker Center
1801 Nash St.

The complete text of the proposed rules and proposed revisions to existing rules are available online at:

Public Hearing in Reidsville

5 pm - 9 pm
Aug. 25
at Rockingham High School
180 High School Rd.

The complete text of the proposed rules and proposed revisions to existing rules are available online at:

Public Hearing in Cullowhee

Final public hearing on oil and gas rules moved to different location at Western Carolina University - A Sept. 12 public hearing devoted to North Carolina's oil and gas rules is being moved to another spot on the Western Carolina University campus – the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center, 92 Catamount Road.

5 pm - 9 pm
Sept. 12
at the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center
92 Catamount Road

The complete text of the proposed rules and proposed revisions to existing rules are available online at:

Written Comments accepted July 15 - September 30, 2014

Hard copy written comments should be sent to:
Oil and Gas Program
DENR-Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources
1612 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1612

Written comments may also be submitted electronically through the state Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources website at:

Comment Period has been extended. Now, the public comment period ends at 5 p.m. Sept. 30, 2014.

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League provides a presentation on fracking in Brevard, NC. Presented by BREDL chapter People for Clean Mountains ( and the Pisgah Chapter of the Sierra Club. Filmed by Michael C. Trufant for CRUNCH Media (

What North Carolina Counties Can Do to Protect Residents from Polluting Industries

North Carolina law grants authority to all counties the power to adopt ordinances under NC General Statute § 153A-121. This is also referred to as the counties’ police power. Recent legislation approved by the NC General Assembly alters but does not end this power.

BREDL Fact Sheet

Fracking in Western North Carolina?
Attend a Public Forum on
the impacts of drilling for natural gas in the mountains

6:30 PM Thursday, June 26, 2014
Transylvania County Library
212 South Gaston Street
Brevard, North Carolina 28712

Louis Zeller, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League Executive Director
Therese Vick, BREDL Sustainable Economic Development Coordinator

Event Flyer | Fracking in Western NC: BREDL Fact Sheet
Are our National Forests at risk?: BREDL Fact Sheet

Fracking 911

June 2014: Fracking 911 - A BREDL Presentation given by Therese Vick at the Pine Hall Fire/Rescue Departments in Stokes County.

View Presentation Document

Legislation Cuts Air Monitoring Sites - Lee County Baseline
Fracking Air Monitor in Danger
Group Says Bill is an Attack on Communities

May 22, 2014: Raleigh- Yesterday, the North Carolina Senate passed S734, which will seriously diminish the state’s ambient monitoring network. If it becomes law, the bill will require the Division of Air Quality to take any ambient monitor not required by the Environmental Protection Agency offline by September 1, 2014. Additionally, the Lee County monitoring station, set up in 2013 to do baseline monitoring of the air prior to any hydraulic fracturing activities, may be on the list.

BREDL Press Release

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League meets North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Mitch Gillespie to talk about fracking in North Carolina. Feb. 10, 2014

League Testifies Against Re-Zoning for Bioremediation of
Toxic Waste in Stokes County

Jan. 23, 2014: At the Stokes County Planning Board meeting in Danbury on Thursday night, The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) submitted testimonies opposing the re-zoning of 77 acres for industrial bioremediation, the depositing of petroleum- contaminated soil onto farm land.

BREDL Press Release | Testimony of Louis A. Zeller

Something in the Air
Hydraulic Fracturing's Impact on Air Quality

January 2014: Download the BREDL Presentation Something in the Air - Hydraulic Fracturing's Impact on Air Quality.

Homeland Security: Threats to the Sustainability, Safety and Security of North Carolina's Food and Water

BREDL Report - Homeland Security: Threats to the Sustainability, Safety and Security of North Carolina's Food and Water
View Presentation

This is a BREDL presentation by Duke University Stanback Intern Wendy Shi.

Trade Secrets in Hydraulic Fracturing

BREDL Report - Trade Secrets in Hydraulic Fracturing
View Presentation | View Report
Presentation and Report go together. Be sure to download both.

BREDL report and presentation by Duke University Stanback Intern Maria Khvatskaya.

Video Montage of No Toxic Trespass - No Fracking Way Tour! Nov. 18 - 21, 2013

Keep NC Frack Free

Photo of the billboard on US 1 North at the Lee/Moore County line.

No Toxic Trespass—No Fracking Way! Tour

Links to Media coverage

Nov. 20: Sanford Herald - Protesters condemn fracking at rally
Nov. 19: Winston-Salem Journal - Activist urges residents to push back against fracking
Nov. 19: EcoNews by EcoWatch- Anti-Fracking Groups Call on NC Governor to Protect Homeowners' Property Rights

League Calls Upon Governor to Protect Property Rights
No Toxic Trespass—No Fracking Way!

Nov. 19, 2013: Today the No Toxic Trespass—No Fracking Way tour rolled into Sanford, North Carolina. At a press conference at the Lee County Courthouse, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League called upon Governor Pat McCrory to defend the state's rural and suburban communities from the hydrofracking industry's seizure of landowners' rights.

Read BREDL Press Release | Read BREDL Letter to Governor McCrory

League Launches Anti-Fracking Tour November 18-21
Lois Gibbs Featured Speaker
No Toxic Trespass—No Fracking Way!

Nov. 18, 2013: Today at a press conference in Winston-Salem, the statewide Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League launched the No Toxic Trespass—No Fracking Way! campaign to prevent hydrofracking in North Carolina. This week the group will take its message directly to many of the communities most at risk from hydrofracking, the invasive process for the extraction of natural gas.

Featured at the conference was Lois Marie Gibbs, who organized her community in Love Canal, New York, and triumphed in establishing the Superfund for toxic chemical cleanups. Speaking about the impacts of hydrofracking, Gibbs said, "What we witnessed were wrecked communities which mirrored the broken rock out-of-sight and underground." She blamed the boom-town phenomenon created by natural gas and other fossil fuel industries for the social ills and added, "Rising levels of crime and disease come to town with the drilling rigs." Gibbs cited an independent study of rural communities before and after hydrofracking revealed a 62% rise in gonorrhea and chlamydia, two sexually transmitted diseases. She concluded, "We don’t need it. We don’t want it!"

Read BREDL Press Release

Nov. 13, 2013: Next week the statewide Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will launch a four-day barnstorming tour of cities and towns across North Carolina’s fracking zone. Spanning the state with a series of events from Stokes County in the north to Anson County in the south, the tour will feature the nationally-recognized mother of the grassroots environmental movement, Lois Gibbs.

Read BREDL Press Release | View Tour Flyer

Split Estates and Property Rights
What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

BREDL Fact Sheet

Groups Call for Regulation of Fracking Air Emissions

Sept 12, 2013: At a press conference today, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), joined by Alamance, Anson and Lee County residents, called on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to require regulation of fracking air emissions.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Letter to NCEMC
Read/Watch WRAL coverage (scroll down the WRAL link to watch their story)

BREDL's Therese Vick interviewed by RT America

Sept. 2013: BREDL's Therese Vick was recently interviewed via Skype by RT America regarding fracking in North Carolina.

League Launches Radio Campaign Calling on Governor McCrory to say NO to Forced Pooling

Aug. 26, 2013: Raleigh- Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) has launched an ad campaign urging Governor McCrory to say NO to forced pooling. The radio ads will run through Wednesday August 28, 2013 on WPTF am stations 680 and 850.

Listen to ad:      | BREDL Press Release

Exploration and Production Waste

Aug. 22, 2013: Recently proposed and enacted changes to North Carolina’s environmental policy, as well as solid waste and other environmental laws, increase our vulnerability to mega-dumps and other commercial waste disposal facilities. North Carolina could also be targeted for hydraulic fracturing, or E&P wastes.

View BREDL Powerpoint

BREDL In the NEWS: Fracking North Carolina:
What Do We Do With The Waste?

April 23, 2013: BREDL's Therese Vick was recently interviewed for a WUNC 91.5 NC Public Radio story.

“You can model anything the way you want to,” she says. “And who’s watching? Who’s monitoring it? Is the testing gonna ever be adequate? Are they ever going to be required to test for every substance?”

Check out the WUNC story for more of Therese's comments

League joins in the call for a comprehensive health assessment prior to fracking

April 17, 2013: Raleigh- Today, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) joined over 90 medical professionals and 25 organizations calling on the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory to require that a health assessment be conducted before any fracking is allowed in North Carolina. A letter requesting the health assessment will be sent to Legislators and the Governor. At the press conference, health care providers spoke of the necessity of the health assessment and others held signs saying, “First Do No Harm,” and “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”.

Read Full BREDL Press Release

Presentation on Split Estates

Feb. 13, 2013: Therese Vick's powerpoint presentation, which was presented in Lee County, about split estates. Over time, Split Estate has come to be defined as a situation in which a property owner is not the same party who owns the rights to extract minerals from underneath the property.

Download Presentation: Powerpoint | PDF

Who owns the Mineral Rights on your land?

BREDL Fact sheet: How to discover who owns the mineral rights underneath your property

Hot Topic: Hydrofracking and Radiation Exposure

BREDL Report - Hot Topic: Hydrofracking and Radiation Exposure.
View Report

This is a BREDL report by Duke University Stanback Intern Allison Mitchell.

BREDL Comments to NCDENR regarding the Draft
North Carolina Oil and Gas Study on Fracking

April 2, 2012: BREDL has many concerns regarding groundwater and surface water protection, air quality, impacts on land and lives, infrastructure and waste handling and other negatives the natural gas industry will bring into North Carolina. In our comments, we will focus on some specific issues that were either not addressed in the Study, or that should be improved.

Read BREDL's Comments
Hydraulic Fracturing in Central North Carolina - Potential Impacts on Triangle Air Quality: View as Power Point | View as pdf

BREDL comments at Sanford, NC public hearing on fracking

Read BREDL comments from the March 20, 2012 Public Hearing in Sanford, NC regarding fracking.

View archived webcast of the Public Hearing. Problem viewing webcast? Check here

What's All The Fuss About Fracking?

This BREDL report highlights the main issues with hydrofracking.

• Water use
• Water Contamination
• Waste product disposal
• Air Pollution
• Public Health
• Earthquakes
• Leases, Split Estates and Forced Pooling
• Infrastructure Strains
• Community Disruption

Download the report

The League comments on injection wells rulemaking

Jan. 13, 2012: The draft North Carolina rule on injection wells is the camel’s nose under the tent because it allows certain innocuous-sounding injection well practices to occur under a new permit-by-rule scheme, opening the door to others yet unspecified and potentially dangerous. Recently, North Carolina embarked on a program entitled “State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations,” aka STRONGER. However, we believe the regulatory trend embodied in the proposed draft rule would be under a different program: “Work Essentially Aimed at Killing Environmental Regulations;” that is, WEAKER.  

Read BREDL Comments