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BREDL Press Releases | Recent News | The LEAGUE LINE (our quarterly newsletter)


Press Releases:

1999 - 2018

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BREDL Report: Union Hill: Real Property, Racism and Environmental Justice

Nov. 04, 2019: Buckingham, VA - Today Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its Buckingham Chapter, Concern for the New Generation, released a new report: "Union Hill: Real Property, Racism and Environmental Justice," which reveals a history of subversive policies, in Virginia and nationwide, which severely limit the ability for African Americans to build wealth.

The context for the study is Virginia 400, marking the history of the slave trade in the United States. From 250 years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow laws to the continued subversive policy of siting toxic polluting facilities in environmental justice and other marginalized communities, African Americans and those who live in poverty have been relegated to less than second class citizenship.

BREDL submits comments to EPA regarding Draft PFAS recommendations

Jun 10, 2019: The EPA interim recommendations for addressing groundwater contaminated with PFOA and PFOS needs to be expanded to include all PFAS as a class. Any talk of cleanup needs to examine previous industrial sites that probably emitted/discharged PFAS chemicals. All areas of PFAS contamination – soil, surface and ground water, air and food – need to be properly addressed. In addition to the class of PFAS, short-chain replacement chemicals that convey similar health impacts – such as GenX – also need to be included.

The federal government is hell-bent on fast tracking projects that harm the environment. For a change, how about fast tracking a plan that will clean up the entire class of PFAS contaminants and their short-chain replacements?

BREDL Full Comments

24-hour Vigil for Justice calls on Governor Northam and AG Herring to Protect People and Environment over Pipelines

Mar. 27, 2019: Richmond, VA—Today in a peaceful, spiritual event, allied groups led by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Virginia Pipeline Resisters came together from across the Commonwealth to begin a 24-hour Vigil for Justice held outside the Governor’s Office. The action began with a Unity Rally with speakers who live along the routes of both the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.

The group prayed, read poems, shared stories, and read statements from landowners. They also displayed photo posters depicting the devastation current construction of the MVP is causing in Southwest Virginia.

Press Release

Documents Reveal North Carolina Governor Colluding with Atlantic Coast Pipeline to Monitor Pipeline Opponents

Feb. 11, 2019: Documents obtained through the North Carolina Public Records Act by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) show that the Cooper administration is collaborating with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in their surveillance of opponents statewide and in communities impacted by the pipeline. The records came from the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Press Release

We’ve Seen Northam’s Racism Before

Feb. 4, 2019: Union Hill resident and BREDL chapter Concern for the New Generation (CNG) member, Ruby Laury spoke clearly and calmly, “Governor Northam must resign. I don’t condemn him, but he must resign.” In a statement released by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s Executive Director Louis Zeller said, “We’ve seen the vulgar racism exhibited by Governor Northam in his medical school yearbook before. It is no less harmful than that of the battle-flag crowd. Both have significant, pernicious and negative consequences on people’s lives.”

Press Release

BREDL Statement regarding Virginia Governor Ralph Northam

Feb. 4, 2019: The vulgar racism exhibited by the governor in medical school is no less harmful than that of the battle-flag crowd. Both have significant, pernicious and negative consequences on people’s lives. In the recent Union Hill compressor station debate, racism was side-stepped. It can no longer be avoided. The governor’s motives may be unclear, but his actions are not. His failure to recognize abhorrent behavior in medical school is mirrored by his similarly hurtful actions directed at the residents of Union Hill. The pattern is striking. Governor Northam’s racist blind spot is a feature of his actions, then and now. He should step down.

BREDL Lambasts Citizen Board for its Decision to Approve Air Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Compressor Station

Jan. 8, 2019: Richmond, VA—The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) lambasted the citizen State Air Pollution Control Board (SAPCB) today for its approval of the air permit for the Buckingham compressor station for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Kathie Mosley, BREDL Vice President and chair of Union Hill’s Chapter, Concern for the New Generation, called the decision “a travesty.” Mosley shared, “Those of us who live in Union Hill have been ignored through the entire permitting process. We had hoped the Air Board would acknowledge the fact that we are an Environmental Justice community. This won’t stop us from fighting. We will consider challenging the decision in court.”

View Press Release

BREDL calls out Virginia Department of Environmental Quality For attempts to Erase the Black Lives of Union Hill Residents

Jan. 3, 2019: Lovingston, VA—The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) today called out the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for its attempts to erase the lives and history of the Union Hill community while misleading the State Air Pollution Control Board (SAPCB) regarding the proposed compressor station site for Dominion Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

View Press Release | BREDL Comments - Barker | BREDL Comments - Ponton | BREDL Report Card | BREDL Fact Sheet


Press Releases: 1999 - 2018


BREDL submits Mountain Valley Pipeline Consent Decree Comments

Nov. 27, 2019: Any and all payments received from the Mountain Valley Pipeline for their failures to meet soil erosion and sediment regulations must be placed in a fund dedicated to the landowners and communities who have had to endure the devastation from the construction of this ill-permitted and regulated pipeline. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) should not have access to these monies to fund any of their programs. VADEQ's lack of concern for these communities and landowners has been clear from the beginning of the permitting process. VADEQ ignored the valid concerns of the communities and discounted expert witness testimony when permitting construction. Those ignored and discounted concerns have been proven to be true repeatedly.

BREDL Comments regarding Carolina Sunrock LLC's application for a crushed stone mining operation located near Prospect Hill in Caswell County, NC

Nov. 04, 2019: In our oral comments, we mention that in 2017 the state's rules for mining were radically altered to allow perpetual permits for mining, both for new operations and for modifications of existing operations. We outline concerns with the applicant and how legislative changes have led to unforeseen consequences.

BREDL Comments to VA DEQ regarding Title V Permit for Dynax America, Roanoke VA

Nov. 04, 2019: The Dynax facility has been issued at least three violations within the decade. We applaud VA DEQ for inspections and enforcement so that Dynax adheres to permit conditions. However, to better protect public health and welfare, VA DEQ should strengthen permitting requirements instead of allowing emission increases - once a problem has been discovered.

BREDL Comments to EPA regarding NESHAP Paper and Other Web Coating Residual Risk and Technology Review

Nov. 04, 2019: We support the removal of the startup, shutdown, malfunction exemption.

Regarding the industry proposal to create a new type of "work practice standard" malfunction exemption , EPA may not lawfully or rationally create the new kind of malfunction exemption the American Coatings Association has requested.

Although we stress that the EPA should not finalize any type of malfunction exemption because it is unlawful and arbitrary and the Clean Air Act requires emissions standards to apply at all times, the option of continuing operations while doing repairs is especially unacceptable.

BREDL Comments to U.S. EPA Regarding Updating of Section 401 Regulations

Oct. 20, 2019: The proposed changes to the Clean Water Act 401 regulation will lessen water protection by practically eliminating state and tribal input and authority to reduce, control and prevent deterioration of its waterways. EPA is overstepping its authority with this proposal. The proposed rule is a gift to industry and a death knell to waterways across our nation. This proposal should be withdrawn.

BREDL Comments to U.S. EPA Regarding Coal Ash Management

Oct. 15, 2019: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League opposes the transfer of the coal ash pollution problem from the private power company to the public. The reintroduction of any poison into the environment under the guise of so-called beneficial use merely transfers the problem from one medium to another and from one community to another. A new way must be found.

EVENT: Burning The Gas 'Bridge Fuel' Myth

October 15
7 PM
Community United Church of Christ, 814 Dixie Trl, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
More Details

Tri-State Pipeline Strike Events
See links below graphic for more info!

Links to both events

The League Comments On MVP-Southgate DEIS

Sept. 16, 2019: Excerpts from our comments:

FERC must immediately stop work on the MVP-mainline project, halt the Southgate DEIS process, and return to square one. FERC must consider and evaluate these two projects - dependent on each other – in one environmental document.

There are too many instances of incomplete data or lack of information mentioned throughout the DEIS. This DEIS should not have been released for public comment until the information was completed.

BREDL requests that the edge of the Southgate pipeline's Additional Temporary Work Space be moved a minimum of 500 feet west of its current location, in order to buffer Little Cherrystone and its cemetery and mound from ground disturbances and visual impairment.

The assessment offered by the DEIS fails to consider dozens of uranium mining leases.

Fact Sheet: Versatile Test Reactors

Aug. 26, 2019: BREDL Fact Sheet on Versatile Test Reactors.

The Department of Energy has put out a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Statement for a Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). U.S. DOE is looking to locate VTR at either the Idaho National Lab or Oak Ridge, TN.

BREDL Comments on VDOT Martinsville Southern Connector Study

Aug. 23, 2019: The Reconstruct/Fix U.S. 220 option was dismissed and not continued to the alternative phase, resulting in a situation where only fully access-controlled freeways on new alignment are being considered. According to the August 2019 VDOT video presentation, the level of access control will be evaluated and could change once the preferred alternative advances to the final design stage.

BREDL Comments on U.S. Forest Service Proposed NEPA Revisions

Aug. 21, 2019: We are adamantly opposed to changes with §220.4 General requirements. Paragraphs (d) and (e). Currently, Section Paragraph (e) (1) states “ Scoping is required for all Forest Service proposed actions, including those that would appear to be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or an EIS.” The proposed NEPA change would limit public notice and scoping to only proposed actions that will be documented with a decision memo, EA or EIS.

The Notice for this Proposed Action states, “The Proposed rule outlines an approach for ‘right-sizing’ the public engagement and scoping processes to each proposed action.” We would strongly disagree. The proposed rule, rather than right-sizing public engagement appears to be capsizing that engagement.

Draft Supplement Analysis of the Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Aug. 12, 2019: We hereby request that The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration do a new EIS as required under existing statutes and case law. NNSA’s pit production mission was emphasized as a national security imperative by the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. For many reasons, the argument for this mission can be shown to be specious and ill-advised. On the other hand, if it were shown to be valid, it is a major action for which an Environmental Impact Statement would be required. International treaty obligations and U.S. law prohibit further development of atomic weapons. The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty compels the United States to end nuclear weapons development.

BREDL Comments

Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash interviews

An interview with members of the Executive Team of North Carolina's Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash talk about their fight to prevent Vista Green from putting an enormous coal ash dump in their county. Interviews and Video from Ken and Deborah Ferruccio, Environmental Educators and Activists

The League comments to FERC regarding Return on Equity

June 26, 2019: FERC’s mission is to assist consumers to obtain economical, safe, reliable, and secure energy services at a reasonable cost. But artificially high incentives in pipeline development are causing excessive pipeline construction and needless community devastation.

BREDL Full Comments

BREDL chapter Sustainable Madison airs radio ads

BREDL chapter Sustainable Madison has aired 2 radio spots expressing the group's concerns regarding a proposed asphalt plant in Madison County.

Listen to the Ads: Spot 1 | Spot 2

BREDL comments to FERC on the Draft National Register of Historic Places Nomination for the Coles-Terry Rural Historic District impacted by Mountain Valley Pipeline

May 31, 2019: BREDL comments that there is a failure to designate all applicable national register criteria. The Draft National Register of Historic Places Nomination for the Coles-Terry Rural Historic District (“Nomination”) designates that the CTRHD is qualified for National Register listing under Criterion A as a property “associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history”. On page 14, the Nomination designates “agriculture” as the area of significance in which the District is eligible under Criterion A. There are no other National Register criteria listed besides Criterion A, and no other areas of significance listed besides “Agriculture”. The Nomination's treatment of the National Register criteria applicable to the CTRHD should also include Criteria C and D.

BREDL also points out problems with the Nomination's definition of district boundaries. The first problem with the Nomination's treatment of boundaries for the CTRHD stems from the unsubstantiated decision to expand the eastern boundary of the district to include a significant number of suburban homes built within the last 50 years. The district's boundaries as they appear in the Preliminary Information Form are the product of weeks of painstaking on-the-ground surveys performed in an effort to exclude non- contributing suburban homes that have been built in many parts of the Bent Mountain community over the past 50 years.

BREDL Full Comments

BREDL and our chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff comment on Plant Vogtle NPDES Permit

May 30, 2019: We maintain that the EPD’s inclusion of mitigation in a water withdrawal permit was the wrong measure in the wrong place. It was unfair and contrary to the law for NPDES measures— accounting for chemical and thermal discharges to waters of the United States—to be allowed through the back door of a water withdrawal permit.

BREDL Comments

Drone Video and Photos from ACP construction in November in North Carolina shows destruction

View Photos from November 27, 2018 in Cumberland County, NC.

24-hour Vigil for Justice calls on Governor Northam and AG Herring to Protect People and Environment over Pipelines

View Photos from the March 27-28 Vigil.

BREDL Comments on Columbia Gas Shenandoah Compressor Station in Page County, VA Draft Title V Air Permit

April 1, 2019: BREDL comments included: "40 to 85 percent of the fuel burned produces no electric power. But air pollution and global warming gases are created by combustion whether power is produced or not. Moreover, how the turbines are managed and the conditions under which they operate affect efficiency and air pollution emissions."

"The potential emissions of formaldehyde may affect the children attending the Page County High School and Middle School ... each located less than a mile from the Shenandoah Compressor Station."

"The DEQ must take steps to reduce this and other hazardous air pollutants at this compressor station."

BREDL Comments

NRC letter officially terminating the construction authorization for the Plutonium Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River Site

posted Feb. 28, 2019: In 1997, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League launched the Southern Anti-plutonium Campaign, the goal of which was to stop the plutonium fuel factory at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and prevent the expansion of the worldwide plutonium energy economy. Over the decades, we challenged Dominion’s and Duke Energy’s plans to use the fuel at nuclear power plants. Our campaign allied with non-governmental organizations in Russia, Great Britain, France, Japan as well as the US. BREDL spoke at many public forums including Augusta, Charlotte, Washington, Moscow, Saratov and Krasnoyarsk and at the G-8 in Okinawa. We placed the issue before the United Nations at Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty meetings in New York. The February 8, 2019 termination of the construction authorization by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the final domino to fall in this dangerous and expensive project. Five billion taxpayer dollars were spent. Final construction cost estimates ballooned to $17 billion, over 400% of the original estimate. But the project was defeated, thanks to the many who acted on the belief that “one person speaking alone may not be heard, but many people speaking with one voice cannot be ignored.”

NRC Feb. 8 Letter

BREDL Comments to NC Utilities Commission

Feb. 4, 2019: BREDL calls upon the NC Utilities Commission to reject the Integrated Resource Plan submitted by Dominion Energy North Carolina and require a cleaner, smarter plan. And we support similar calls directed towards Duke Energy’s plan.

BREDL Comments

BREDL sends letter to VA DEQ inquiring about delay in scheduling Public Hearing regarding MVP 401 Certification revocation

Jan. 16, 2019: The letter reads, "I would like an explanation why a date for the hearing to begin the process regarding revocation of the 401 water certification for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline has not been set.

It seems the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) is attempting to slow walk the direction given to you by the State Water Control Board (SWCB) at its December 13, 2018 meeting. This is an important meeting to prevent further degradation of the waters of the Commonwealth. As you are well aware, MVP has perpetrated over 300 violations by its poor construction methods and soil & erosion techniques through November 14, as described by your own staff. These violations resulted in a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General. Yet over a month after the direction given to VADEQ staff by the SWCB, this meeting has not been scheduled."

View Letter to VA DEQ


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