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


BREDL Press Release Archives
1999 - 2016

Current Year Press Releases




2016



All Pipeline Options Rejected by Mountain Organizations Environmental Impact Statement Fatally Flawed

Dec. 22, 2016: Today, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), in comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, called upon the agency to select the no-build option for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. In its analysis of the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, BREDL found many flaws and a lack of thorough study and documentation, from erosion and sedimentation to electromagnetic effects when pipelines are near high voltage electric lines.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Comments on DEIS



Report on Air and Noise Pollution Reveals Fatal Flaws in Permit for Proposed Buckingham Compressor Station

Dec. 14, 2016: The report, subtitled “Unfair, Illegal and Unjust,” concludes that the Buckingham County Planning Commission failed with respect to its legal obligation to ensure that the facility does not have a disproportionate impact on Buckingham’s African American community.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Pollution Report



“Woven Gaze: Eyes of the Earth” Project Unveiled

Oct. 27, 2016: Franklin County, Virginia— Today, artists, landowners, and eco-activists celebrated the launch of Woven Gaze: Eyes of the Earth. Conceived by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), the unveiling of the project involved many coordinated efforts of people throughout the region; leadership for this launch included Steve and Anne Bernard, Kelly Love and Carolyn Reilly.

BREDL Press Release



Pipeline Opponents Say County Deceived Residents
Demand NO Easement Agreement

Oct. 18, 2016: Franklin County, VA – Today at a public hearing, opponents of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline presented their arguments against an easement agreement to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. Many landowners expressed outrage at the deception by the Board about its position on the agreement.

Preserve Franklin Press Release



"Protectors" Proclaim: Pipelines are DIRTY BUSINESS

Sept. 22, 2016: Roanoke, Virginia—Residents from across the region joined forces this morning to shine a light on Governor McAuliffe's ill-conceived support of two proposed 42-inch fracked gas transmission pipelines—the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. The protest, dubbed "Pipelines are DIRTY Business" was held outside the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce where Governor McAuliffe attended the Roanoke Clean Energy Business Roundtable.

BREDL Press Release



Proposed Buckingham Compressor Station, Buckingham County, VA
High Levels of Air Pollution Would Be Emitted

Updated Aug. 2016: Dominion Transmission, Inc. wants to build a series of compressor stations to move gas through the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If constructed, the Buckingham Compressor Station would have four natural gas-powered turbines with a total of 40,715 horsepower operating 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

View BREDL Fact Sheet



PCPRIDE Report

Person County PRIDE Calls for Megadump Closure
New Report Details Cost Saving Alternative

June 29, 2016: In a report released today, “Wasted: A Call for Person County to End its Relationship with Republic Services,” Person County PRIDE launched a new campaign calling for an end to decades of solid waste imports into Person County.

PC PRIDE Press Release | Report



League Files Ethics Complaint against NC Governor Pat McCrory

June 24, 2016: Raleigh-Today, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) announced the filing of an ethics violation against Governor McCrory. Filed with the North Carolina Ethics Commission, the complaint details actions taken by the Governor and his appointees which appear to violate the law prohibiting acts exerting undue influence and improper use of state agency time and resources.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Complaint



Residents’ Report Findings on Pipeline to Franklin County: Billion Dollar Disaster and Archaeological Destruction

June 21, 2016: Franklin County, VA— Today the Franklin County Board of Supervisors heard from concerned citizens regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). During the citizen comment period, two presenters detailed major financial and historical factors against the pipeline.

BREDL Press Release (with links to Key-log Economics Report)



FOIA Documents Reveal Lack of Neutrality in County BOS
Franklin County’s Governing Body Exposed

May 17, 2016: Frankin County, VA – Today, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) Community Organizer Carolyn Reilly presented to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors (BOS) the long-awaited findings from their FOIA request. In documents obtained by Preserve Franklin, a BREDL chapter, Reilly found clear evidence that the BOS is not taking a neutral stand on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

BREDL Press Release & FOIA Documents, Findings | BOS Presentation



League Files New Safety Lawsuit Against Plant Vogtle Construction

May 12, 2016: Today BREDL and the Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff announced a challenge to a license amendment at Plant Vogtle which would increase the potential risk of hydrogen fire and explosion, causing damage to the containment structures of two nuclear power plants now being constructed in Burke County, Georgia. Unaccountably, four years elapsed before the company informed NRC of this risk.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Petition



Activists Dub McAuliffe “The Pipeline Planter” at Private Event held at Public State Park

May 5, 2016: Huddleston, Virginia—Protesters for both the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines met at the Smith Mountain Lake State Park this afternoon to mock Governor McAuliffe’s attempted greenwashing of his environmental record by planting trees in the State Park. One protester, wearing a suit and McAuliffe mask, held a dead tree in one arm with a sign saying, “I’m a tree killer.” In the other arm, he held a pipeline with a sign that said, “I’m a pipeline planter.”

BREDL Press Release



Virginia Gas Pipeline Opponents Invite “Keystone Killer” Jane Kleeb to Speak at Public Events

April 20, 2016: Community groups across Virginia who are fighting the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines have invited Jane Kleeb to Virginia to share her experience of bringing together an unlikely alliance of landowners, farmers, ranchers and Tribal Nations to fight the Keystone XL pipeline.

Kleeb is president of Bold Nebraska and the Bold Alliance. She earned the nickname "Keystone Killer" in Rolling Stone Magazine for her role in successfully stopping the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska.

Friday, April 22 Venues:
Boones Mill (10am) Heatherwood Apartments, Community Room, 1009 Heatherwood Drive, Boones Mill, VA 24065
Roanoke (12pm) Unitarian Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Rd. S.W. Roanoke, VA 24015
Virginia Tech (2:30pm) Atrium, Major William Hall, 220 Stanger St. Blacksburg, VA 24061


BREDL Press Release



BREDL and WACE file Legal Challenge against Proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline

Mar. 10, 2016: Today anti-pipeline groups announced a new legal challenge to the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline. The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its chapter Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy have filed a request for rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, challenging the recent Order of Approval issued by the federal agency. The challenge centers on three issues: economics, environmental justice and eminent domain.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Legal Challenge



BREDL files Clean Air Act citizens suit on air toxics

On February 24, 2016, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and three other environmental organizations filed a lawsuit in US District Court to compel the US Environmental Protection Agency to update long-overdue standards for thirteen types of industries which emit hazardous air pollution. The goal of the lawsuit is to force EPA to fulfill its mandate to review and determine the risk to public health and set more stringent standards. Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s legal representative in this case is Nicholas Morales, Associate Attorney for Earthjustice in Washington, DC. The other plaintiffs bringing the lawsuit are Clean Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Defense Center and the Sierra Club.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Legal Complaint



Noise from Mountain View Speedway Harmful to Boone Quality of Life

Jan. 21, 2016: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a report on sound pollution and called on the Town of Boone to protect residents from excessive levels of noise from stock car races at the newly opened auto speedway on Roby Green Road. The report, "Noisy Neighbors–Sound Pollution in the High Country", reveals the hazards to mental and physical well-being of residents in neighborhoods near the track.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Technical Report



2015



BREDL and chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff Petition U.S. NRC

Dec. 7: Southern Nuclear Operating Company is seeking to amend its license to relax the construction standards for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4. If permitted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the changes would alter the reactors’ critical radiation shielding walls. BREDL and Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff oppose the license amendment because it would endanger plant safety, plant personnel and the surrounding community.

Read BREDL Press Release | View BREDL Petition



League Files Mountain Valley Pipeline Intervention
Finds 3 Fatal Flaws in Pipeline Permit

Nov. 24, 2015: Today Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) took legal action to challenge the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) by filing a motion to intervene and protest the process. After a careful review of MVPs resource reports regarding the proposed project, the League cited crucial information that challenges the MVP’s request for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity on three grounds.

Read BREDL Press Release | View Petition to Intervene



BREDL and Concerned Citizens of Richmond County hold Press Conference regarding Duke Energy's Turbines
located in Hamlet, NC


On October 8, 2015 Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Concerned Citizens of Richmond County stood in front of the HQ of NCDENR in Raleigh, NC to announce that they have renewed their citizen's lawsuit against EPA and the state's permit for failure to properly regulate Duke Energy's Turbines in Hamlet, NC. The citizens of Richmond county are already being harmed with excessive amounts of air pollution from Duke's power plant.

More info: Press Release | Petition



BREDL Report on the Pollution Impacts from Appalachian Materials, LLC Proposed Asphalt Plant in Glendale Springs

Oct. 1, 2015: The report concludes that the North Carolina Division of Air Quality's draft permit would not meet state standards for toxic air pollution and recommends that Ashe County take steps to ensure that its Polluting Industries Ordinance be strengthened in order to protect the health and safety of its people.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Report



"Hands Across Our Land"

View Press Releases, Videos and Photos from the "Hands Across Our Land" August 18, 2015 events.



Groups File Legal Challenge to Duke Energy's Coal Ash Dumping Plans

July 6, 2015: Charging that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) acted arbitrarily and capriciously by issuing permits for two proposed coal ash dumps in Lee and Chatham Counties, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump (CCACAD), and EnvironmentaLEE (ELEE) filed a petition for a contested case hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) today.

BREDL Press Release | Petition



League Demands that the FERC Extend Comment Period, Hold Additional Public Hearings

June 18, 2015: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) made a specific demand to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in its comments on Wednesday, June 16, the stated deadline for the FERC public comment period. The organization made it clear in their comments that the FERC needs to offer additional public hearings and a 90-day extension of the scoping comment deadline regarding the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

BREDL Press Release



Groups Urge North Carolina Department Of Environment And Natural Resources To Nix Duke Energy's Coal Ash Plans

May 19, 2015: Raleigh- Citing incomplete information, flouting of state law, ignoring public health and environmental justice concerns, and lack of compliance reviews mandated by state law, four environmental groups urged the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to deny Duke Energy’s plan to dump up to 20 million tons of dangerous coal ash in Lee and Chatham Counties. Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), NC WARN, Chatham Citizens Against Coal Ash Dump and EnvironmentaLEE filed the comments with DENR as the comment period closed.

Read Press Release



Landowner’s Rights Violated by Mountain Valley Pipeline Survey Crews

April 9, 2015: Recently, survey crews have been seen in Franklin County on property they did not have permission to enter. Carolyn Reilly, whose land was wrongly surveyed, said, "This is a violation. We mailed a certified letter to the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project Manager denying permission to survey our family’s land." Reilly said there were strips of blue survey tape tied to trees and shrubs near Teels Creek, which runs through her property.

BREDL Press Release
Blue survey tape near Teels Creek: Photo 1, Photo 2



Group Launches Radio Ad Campaign Asking Governor McCrory to Stop Duke Energy Coal Ash Dumping Plan

Mar. 10, 2015: Raleigh- Joined by Lee and Chatham County residents, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) announced an ad campaign calling on the Governor to stop Duke Energy’s plan to dump millions of tons of dangerous coal ash into clay mines located in Lee and Chatham counties. The ads, featuring children singing "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down" will run over the next two weeks on News Radio WPTF, 680 AM.

BREDL Press Release
Listen to the Ads: Spot 1 | Spot 2 | Spot 3



Southern Community Groups Call for the Right to Say No to Natural Gas Facilities
Campaign to Safeguard America’s Resources

Feb. 12, 2015: Today community groups in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia called for the establishment of local veto power over natural gas extraction, transport and use. At rallies, marches and other public events extending from Floyd, Virginia, across North Carolina to Valdosta, Georgia, people joined in a chorus of protests against pipelines, compressor stations, power plants, hydrofracking wells and waste dumps and for the restoration of property rights and local control over energy policy in the Southeast.

BREDL Press Release

Media Reports and Info from Feb. 12 Rallies | Feb. 12 Media Reports



On February 12 Community Groups in Three Southern States
to Launch Campaign to Halt Natural Gas Contamination:
Safeguard America's Resources

On Thursday, February 12, 2015, community groups in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia will hold a day of press conferences, marches and rallies to call for a halt to natural gas facilities in all three states. This day of action will focus public pressure on local government officials. February 12 will provide a patriotic backdrop to the unified call to defend communities from pipelines, compressor stations, power plants, hydrofracking wells and waste dumps and the pollution they bring.

BREDL Press Advisory



Another North Carolina County Targeted for Coal Ash Disposal
Anson County Identified in Duke Energy Excavation Plan

Jan. 14, 2015: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released new information pointing to a commercial landfill in Anson County for coal ash disposal.  The information, obtained from Duke Energy's Riverbend and Sutton power plant coal ash excavation plans, states that "In the event the structural fill options are not available in Lee or Chatham County, the Anson County Landfill, a permitted solid waste landfill, has been identified as the alternate location."  The plan indicates that coal ash would be transported from the power plants to the landfill by rail.

Read BREDL Press Release



Investigation Points to Statewide Coal Ash Dumps
Should Clay Mines become Dumpsites?

Jan. 9, 2015: Raleigh- Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League revealed the locations of clay mines across North Carolina which could be targeted for coal ash disposal if abandoned clay mine dumping is approved by the state. The League generated a map showing nearly a hundred active and inactive clay mines located in over twenty counties, extending from Henderson County in the west to Dare County in the east with many in the piedmont.

Active and Inactive Clay Mines in North Carolina

Read BREDL Press Release | View BREDL Investigative Report



Group Launches Radiation Protection Project

Jan. 6, 2015: Today at a press conference in Augusta, a group launched a new program to protect residents from nuclear power plant accidents.  The group, Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff, will be meeting with residents of Augusta, Waynesboro and nearby communities within the emergency zone around the Plant Vogtle nuclear power station.  The project centers on one of the most dangerous pollutants, radioactive iodine, which can affect the thyroid gland.

BREDL Press Release



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



2014



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



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
GoBlueRidge.net article: Citizens Group Officially Asks for Property Protection



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

Bellefonte
Motion to Reopen Record | Motion to File New Contention

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

Sequoyah
Motion to Reopen Record | Motion to File New Contention

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



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


GROUP RELEASES "WAITING IN A CESSPOOL"
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



WAITING IN A CESSPOOL

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.




Legislation Sets Up Randolph County to be Coal Ash Dump
Waste Management, Inc. bets on coal ash disposal revenue

Aug. 28, 2014: Raleigh-The proposed Randolph County regional landfill could now be at risk from recent state legislation on the disposal of thousands of tons of coal ash.

Randolph County has chosen Waste Management Inc. to be its contractor to operate the proposed landfill. The county’s operating agreement with the company specifically includes “power generation” residues, or coal ash. BREDL organizer Therese Vick said, “Waste Management is banking on the disposal of coal ash. Randolph County is putting itself at risk to be a dump for the industry’s coal ash problem.” Coal ash contains toxic heavy metals which have caused severe problems at other Subtitle D landfills, Vick added, “Coal ash does not belong in a municipal solid waste landfill.”

BREDL Press Release



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



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



34 Groups Call for Resignation of Nuclear Regulatory Commission's William Magwood
Commissioner Magwood failed to recuse himself on key votes. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 18, 2014 – Today a broad coalition of 34 public interest groups called upon Commissioner William D. Magwood to resign from his position on the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The groups cited his recent taking of a job promoting nuclear power while serving on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the cause.

BREDL Press Release



League Praises EPA Plan to Limit Global Warming

June 2, 2014: Today, with the announcement of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's new plan to limit global warming, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League issued a statement praising the move as a giant step forward.

BREDL Press Release



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



Public Hearing to Discuss Massive Water Withdrawal Permit from the Savannah River for New Vogtle Nuclear Reactors

May 8, 2014: The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is considering a massive surface water withdrawal permit request from Southern Nuclear Operating Company for the two new Vogtle reactors under construction near Waynesboro, Georgia. The reactors, which could operate for 60 or more years, could withdraw up to 74 million gallons of water per day from the river. Nuclear power plants are water hogs!

BREDL Fact Sheet | Press Release



Local Group Joins Forces with Defense League to Oppose Biomass Incineration

April 9, 2014: Lithonia– Today, Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (CHASE) announced they have joined the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), a regional environmental justice non-profit organization. The link with the multi-state organization will give CHASE greater capacity to defend the residents of Dekalb County from toxic air pollution.

Read CHASE Press Release



Coal Ash Disposition
The Alternative for North Carolina

March 24, 2014: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a 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.

Read BREDL Press Release | View BREDL Technical Report



BREDL Demands: "Don't Dump Coal Ash on our Communities"

March 20, 2014: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has announced a new campaign to block the landfilling of coal ash from Duke Energy's plants. Staff and volunteers are working with county commissioners and environmental justice advocates to prevent this hazardous waste from contaminating groundwater and drinking water in the state’s mega-dump communities.The League warns that landfilling would endanger public health and the environment. The League's Executive Committee has determined that the full liability for the coal ash should be borne by Duke Energy.

For over twenty years the League has identified the dangers of waste landfilling. Cary Rodgers, BREDL's NC Environmental Justice Organizer who resides in Anson County, said, "The people who live near this mega-dump are primarily African American and many of them are poor. Handing coal ash over to a commercial company which dumps for dollars is a grave danger to our groundwater and nearby residents." Lou Zeller, Executive Director, added, "The League has shared our formal position against coal ash landfilling with other NC organizations and hopes that they will join us in opposing this quick and dirty solution."

Read BREDL Press Release



Group Calls for New Hearing on Air Toxics - Reveals Environmental Agency Skirted State Law

March 12, 2014: Raleigh- Today, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) charged that the NC Division of Air Quality has violated state law in pending changes to the state air toxics standards. BREDL revealed that state employees who were exempted by Governor McCrory from state personnel protections have been improperly utilized as hearing officers by the Division of Air Quality. According to the law, exempt employees cannot serve as hearing officers.

Read BREDL Press Release | Read Letter to Attorney General Roy Cooper



Group Files New Legal Action Against TVA - Petition Calls for New Environmental Review of Earthquake Impacts

Feb. 27, 2014: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a legal challenge to require a full federal analysis of storage of irradiated fuel at the Sequoyah and Bellefonte nuclear power plants. The petition demands that NRC do a complete environmental impact statement on the effects of accidents and leakage on public health and environment. The League also filed a challenges at a power plant in Virginia.

BREDL Press Release



Group Files New Legal Action Against North Anna - Petition Calls for New Environmental Review of Earthquake Impacts

Feb. 27, 2014: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a legal challenge to require a full federal analysis of storage of irradiated fuel at the North Anna nuclear power plant. The petition demands that NRC do a complete environmental impact statement on the effects of accidents and leakage on public health and environment. The League also filed challenges at two other power plants in Alabama and Tennessee.

BREDL Press Release



Group Says Rural Utilities Service Must Hold Public Hearing
Opposes Wadley Biomass Plant

Feb. 18, 2014: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League announced that, based on federal law, a public hearing must be held before the Rural Utilities Service moves in support of a proposed biomass power plant in Wadley. In comments submitted to Rural Utilities Service, the League detailed the hearing requirement and other problems presented by the proposed action.

BREDL Press Release



Groups Launch Legal Campaign Against Duke Energy Power Plant
To Cut Pollution from Natural Gas-powered Turbines

Jan. 29, 2014: Today two groups announced the filing of a Clean Air Act lawsuit with the US Environmental Protection Agency against the permit for the Richmond County Combustion Turbine Facility in Hamlet.

In a legal petition filed January 17th, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and the Concerned Citizens of Richmond County stated that they oppose the air pollution permit because of North Carolina’s failure to comply with the federal Clean Air Act. The two principal objections were that the NC Division of Air Quality had: 1) Failed to require the best available pollution controls for hazardous air pollutants and 2) Failed to properly address the question of common control of the electric power turbines at the site operated by Duke Energy Progress and Piedmont Natural Gas.

Read BREDL Press Release | View Groups' Clean Air Act Petition



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




2013



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



Duke Plans to Increase Toxic Air Pollution at Richmond County Turbines

Oct. 2, 2013: Group Opposes Expanded Permit for Duke Energy Progress - Study Reveals Excessive Levels of Air Toxics

BREDL Press Release




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)



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


Group Challenges Government Study of Air Pollution at SRS
Calls for Action to Protect Public Health

Aug. 20, 2013: The ATSDR’s public health assessment falls short in its analysis of offsite health impacts from the toxic air pollutants emitted from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. In our report entitled Sow the Wind–Toxic Air Pollution from the Savannah River Site, we investigated the air toxics which are emitted from large and small smokestacks at SRS and how they interact to raise downwind pollution levels in Jackson, New Ellenton, Williston and other communities.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL's Comments | Report: Sow the Wind



Report Reveals 21% Higher Death Rates
Near Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

June 6, 2013: The results of a detailed investigation released today reveal residents living near or downwind of Browns Ferry are at greater risk for cancer and death than average U.S. communities. The study found potential links between radioactive emissions from Browns Ferry and adverse health effects in seven counties near and downwind of the plant.

Read Press Release | View Report: Radioactive Emissions and Health Hazards Surrounding Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama



Citizens Intervene to Halt Sequoyah Plant Relicensing
Unsafe Design, Future Flooding, and Cancer Rates Cited

May 7, 2013: BREDL’s petition points out the dangers in Tennessee Valley Authority’s request to extend the license of its troubled Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant. The most significant risk is a system which depends on baskets of ice to prevent a Fukushima-style explosion of the reactor building. Our petition uncovers a fatal flaw based on aging and the inability to inspect critical parts of the reactor building. BREDL is calling for the early closure of all seven plants of this manufacture in Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Petition



People For Clean Mountains Urges Moratorium
on Biomass Facility

People For Clean Mountains (PCM) has called on Transylvania County Commissioners to enact a moratorium for 18 months on any further development of the proposed Penrose biomass facility.
“There is an emerging body of evidence that a facility like the one proposed can pose significant public health risks while also hurting the county’s economic recovery and development,” says Danna Smith, a PCM volunteer.

PCM Press Release | DRAFT Moratorium
The Asheville Citizen-Times April 30, 2013 story: Group seeks halt to biomass plant

BREDL Fact Sheet: Penrose Biomass Technology
Brevard, NC

An application has been submitted to the North Carolina Utilities Commission by RD-Penrose 1, a subsidiary of RENEWable Developers, LLC for a certificate of convenience and public necessity for an electric generating plant near Brevard, NC. If approved, the plant would use up to 100 tons per day of household trash and wood waste to generate up to 4 megawatts of electricity.

BREDL Fact Sheet



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



BREDL Chapter Leaders testify at NC Utilities Commission Hearing

February 28, 2013: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League chapter leaders Julius Kerr and Laura Sorensen testified at the North Carolina Utilities Commission hearing in Charlotte. They joined the chorus of opposition to wasteful, costly pollution generators and money sinkholes proposed by the electric utility companies. For example, the League revealed that to date Duke Energy has reported over $300 million in spending on its proposed Lee Nuclear Station in South Carolina with no license approved or construction started.

BREDL Press Release | NCUC WSLee Expenditures Report
Julius Kerr Testimony | Laura Sorensen Testimony



Nuclear Safety Expert to Inform Local Leaders

SCOTTSBORO, AL - On Monday, February 4, Mr. David Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Director of Nuclear Safety, will bring a Nuclear Safety - Nuclear History presentation to the Jackson County Commission, at 5PM Central Time at the Jackson County Courthouse. His presentation will be repeated at the Scottsboro City Council, Scottsboro City Hall at 6PM Central Time. Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer, is one of the nation’s top independent nuclear power experts.

Read Press Release



2012



Residents Raise Vogtle Safety Issues
at Meeting with Obama Administration

Nov. 19, 2012: Today Georgians concerned about Plant Vogtle met with Obama Administration officials to deliver a letter of grievances against the nuclear power plant in their midst. The meeting at the White House conference center included Jon Carson, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Paul Seidler, Director of External Affairs for Environmental Management for the US Department of Energy. Among those at the meeting representing the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League were Rev. Charles Utley, staff Environmental Justice Campaigner, and Board Vice President Rev. Willie Tomlin.

BREDL Press Release | Read BREDL Letter delivered to the White House



The Waynesboro-Washington Watch
Shell Bluff area citizens travel all night by bus

Nov. 19, 2012: Today Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff journeyed from Georgia to Washington, DC to witness the oral arguments in our case before the US Court of Appeals. Rev. Charles Utley is Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s staff member who helped organize the trip. Emerging from the courtroom, he said, “Our lawyers asked why the new information from Fukushima was not included in Plant Vogtle’s license.” Rev. Utley remarked that the judges seemed to notice the many people in attendance. “We traveled all night to be here today to bear silent witness against our nuclear neighbor, Plant Vogtle.”

Legal Fact Sheet | BREDL Press Release

News coverage: WFXG Fox 54 Story



Group Calls for Investigation of Plutonium Fuel Contractor

Oct. 10, 2012: Today environmental groups in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee called for a government investigation of the principal federal contractor for the Department of Energy’s plutonium fuel program. In comments sent to the US Department of Energy, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League detailed the risks to public health and national security posed by the plutonium fuel program and the actions of Areva, the French government conglomerate which is part of Shaw Areva Mox Services. The group cited a legal dispute between Areva and the Tennessee Valley Authority over a $76 million charge for fuel services. The costs were later reduced to $26 million but without explanation.

Read BREDL Press Release | Oct. 10 Letter to DOE | Oct. 10 Comments to DOE



North Carolina Utilities Commission Tries to Silence Affected Communities
League Launches Multi-State Campaign to Stop Biomass Incineration

Aug. 28, 2012: Today residents of communities targeted for waste-burning power plants were denied the right to speak at the North Carolina Utilities Commission hearing in Raleigh. The denial sparked charges of bias and injustice from the silenced groups. The Commission, convened to consider deadlines affecting animal waste power generators, did grant electric utilities and poultry, pork and energy groups the opportunity to testify.

Read BREDL Press Release | Read BREDL's Lou Zeller's Testimony | Read WACE's Dr. Michael G. Noll's Testimony



NRC Freezes at least 19 Pending Reactor Reviews

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 7, 2012 – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acted today to put a hold on at least 19 pending reactor reviews – nine construction & operating licenses, eight license renewal, one operating license, and one early site permit – in response to the landmark Waste Confidence Rule decision of June 8th by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The NRC action was sought in a June 18, 2012 petition filed by 24 groups urging the NRC to respond to the court ruling by freezing final licensing decisions until it has completed a rulemaking action on the environmental impacts of highly radioactive nuclear waste in the form of irradiated, or ‘used’, reactor fuel storage and disposal.

Lou Zeller, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, said, “It appears that the Commissioners have, at least initially, grasped the magnitude of the Court’s ruling and we are optimistic that it will set up fundamentally transparent, fair process under the National Environmental Policy Act to examine the serious environmental impacts of irradiated nuclear fuel storage and disposal prior to licensing and relicensing nuclear reactors.”

Read the Aug. 7 NRC Full Decision



Judge Allows South Atlantic Galvanizing to Continue to Hide Information From The Public

On June 29, 2012, Superior Court Judge Howard E Manning ordered that the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) keep documents confidential that were previously ruled to be public by that agency. The judge’s order was contrary to the arguments made by the NC Attorney General’s office and the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission, which supported DAQ. The judge ruled that, although emissions information was public information, it would be unfair to South Atlantic Galvanizing to release the documents, despite State and Federal law.

Read BREDL Press Release | View Times-News July 10 article



Groups: NRC Refusal to Require Fukushima Safety Enhancements for
Vogtle Reactors Will Force Filing of Federal Court Action

April 16, 2012: An adverse decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reached today will force parties concerned about the already troubled Vogtle nuclear reactor project in Georgia to file a motion this week in federal court, according to representatives of nine organizations that are seeking to slow down the Vogtle project so that necessary post-Fukushima safety enhancements can be taken into account on the front end, before billions of ratepayer dollars are spent.

Groups' Press Release

Press Advisory: NRC Rejects Vogtle Motion

A streaming audio replay of a related news event is available here.



Radiation from Savannah River Site Increasing - New Inquiry into SRS

Feb. 22, 2012: A new report by Joseph J. Mangano, MPH MBA finds that in the past decade levels of most types of radioactivity at the Savannah River Site are rising, as are rates of radiosensitive diseases. A new inquiry is needed to understand why these are occurring as cleanup continues at SRS. Mangano directs the Radiation and Public Health Project research group which has assembled epidemiological evidence of a probable causal link between low-level internal radiation from the ingestion of man-made fission products and world-wide increases in immune deficiency diseases and cancer.  

Read BREDL Press Release | Download the Report | View the Report Summary



NRC License for New Vogtle Reactors will be Opposed in Federal Court

Feb. 9, 2012: 9 Groups Contend That NRC Is Failing to Fully Consider Fukushima Lessons Before Issuing a Final License to Construct and Operate Two New Nuclear Reactors With the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expected to consider as early as Thursday whether to issue the final license for two new reactors at the site of the currently operating Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, nine national, state and regional groups will ask the NRC to delay its decision until the groups can file a challenge in federal court.

Groups' Press Advisory



Group Claims Agency Cover Up Safety Problems at Plant Vogtle

Feb. 8, 2012: Today in Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League revealed that potential safety problems at Plant Vogtle are being withheld from public view. The group said that for over a year it had received no answer to its formal request for disclosure of information about Plant Vogtle’s ability to withstand earthquakes and other threats. In a statement to be delivered today to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of New Reactors’ public meeting on Plant Vogtle construction, BREDL Vice President Rev. Willie Tomlin asks why the agency is keeping the information from public view and reiterates the request for disclosure.

BREDL Press Release
Read Rev. Willie Tomlin's Statement



NC Science Advisory Board on Toxic Air Pollutants recommends increasing acceptable ambient levels (AALs) of arsenic nine-fold

Jan. 25, 2012: Raleigh- Despite latest research calling arsenic “the number one environmental chemical of concern in the US and worldwide, today the North Carolina Science Advisory Board on Toxic Air Pollutants (SAB) voted to recommend the increase of “Acceptable Ambient Levels” of arsenic nine-fold. This, despite the SAB’s own listing of arsenic as the number one substance to be reviewed under their “Prevention Paradigm.”

Read BREDL Press Release




Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery Rallies
Environmental Justice Campaigners in Georgia

Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

Jan. 7, 2012: Today at a church within view of Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant, civil rights veteran Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery spoke about the issues currently affecting the people this region. In attendance were many local residents from the rural Shell Bluff community in Burke County and many people from the Atlanta area who arrived in a bus chartered by Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions.

More Details: Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff/BREDL Press Release | Event Flyer





2011



NC Environmental Management Commission Rules in South Atlantic Galvanizing Case
BREDL Request for Documents Upheld

Nov. 18, 2011: Raleigh- Yesterday, the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission issued a declaratory ruling agreeing with the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s (DAQ) decision to release improperly withheld information on emissions produced by South Atlantic Galvanizing’s (SAG) facility in Graham, N.C. SAG had asked the Commission to issue a declaratory ruling against DAQ’s decision. This re-examination of the issue was prompted by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) requesting documents supporting the Winston-Salem Regional Office’s 2006 decision to keep emissions information confidential as SAG requested. Therese Vick BREDL staff and author of the document request said, “State and federal law preclude keeping emissions information confidential. DAQ Director Sheila Holman did the proper thing by agreeing to release the documents. Director Holman acted in the public’s interest.”

Read BREDL Press Release



North Carolina Science Advisory Board Recommends
Increasing “Acceptable” Ambient Air Levels of Arsenic “Nine-fold”

Nov. 15, 2011: Raleigh- Today, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) submitted comments on the risk assessment North Carolina’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) conducted on arsenic, a toxic heavy metal and known human carcinogen. The League expressed its opposition to any increase in arsenic levels. The SAB is recommending that North Carolina’s current health-based limit be increased over nine-fold. BREDL community organizer Therese Vick pointed out that, “By the time a child is 10, they could inhale the same amount of arsenic as a 90-year old.”

View BREDL Press Release | Read BREDL's Comments



Virginia Supreme Court Hears North Anna Case

Oct. 31, 2011: Today the Virginia Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s appeal of an environmental permit for Dominion-Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear power station.

The case centers on a Clean Water Act permit for the North Anna nuclear power station. The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League first challenged the permit in 2008 and won; the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond concluded that the State Water Control Board’s NPDES wastewater permit for the North Anna electric power plant was “not in accordance with the law.” However, Dominion-Virginia Power and the state Department of Environmental Quality obtained a reversal in the Court of Appeals. Early this year the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League was granted the right to take its case to the state Supreme Court.

View BREDL Press Advisory



Environmental Groups Reject Dominion Power and Enviva Green Biomass Energy Claims

Oct. 27, 2011: Today, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Dogwood Alliance, and Heartwood challenged Dominion Virginia Power’s claims that their plan to convert two coal fired plants is “clean” and “renewable.” The groups, with members in Virginia and across the Southeast describe Dominion’s environmental claims made last week in announcing a partnership with wood pellet manufacturer Enviva as misleading.

Read Press Release



Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League Calls for
Financial Accounting of Proposed Rule’s Health Care Costs


Sept. 28, 2011: Raleigh- At a hearing on North Carolina’s proposed adoption of US EPA’s three-year deferral on controlling greenhouse gases emitted from biomass incinerators, Blue Ridge Environmental called for a full financial accounting of the rule’s impact on health care costs. EPA has not mandated that States adopt the deferral. In addition, BREDL requested a review of the rulemaking process pointing to attempts by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality to fast track the process and circumventing public process.

Read BREDL Press Release | Read BREDL Comments


Historic and potential flooding at proposed uranium mine
and mill site Coles Hill, Pittsylvania County, Virginia


Sept. 26, 2011: This report indicates that any uranium mill tailings storage operation in Coles Hill, Virginia would create high risk of chronic and/or catastrophic release of radioactive contamination into the aquatic environment.

Read BREDL Press Release

Download BREDL Report with Attachments

Download BREDL Report without Attachments
Download Report Attachments:
Attachment A – FEMA flood zones and historic flood events at Coles Hill
Attachment B – Flood of November 11 & 12, 2009 - Coles Hill, VA
Attachment C – spring and wetlands at Coles Hill


Event

Special event celebrates river connections - At this free educational and fun event, visitors will be able to learn about water issues and water recreation, participate in water activities and mini-workshops, hear informative speakers and view a mock life-size radioactive nuclear waste cask.

Future River Fest
2PM - 8PM
Sept. 24
Renaissance Park
Chattanooga, TN

View Press Release/Event Poster 


League Calls For "Second Opinion" on Health Effects of Biomass Incineration

Sept. 6, 2011: Candor NC- Tonight at a meeting organized by Candor citizens concerned about a proposed biomass incinerator to be operated by NC-CHP 1 LLC, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released their white paper Second Opinion: The Medical Profession Diagnoses Biomass Incineration. The white paper compiles statements of concern from medical organizations and professionals across the country who oppose biomass incineration.

Read BREDL Press Release
Download - Second Opinion: The Medical Profession Diagnoses Biomass Incineration.

Second Opinion


League Calls For Alamance County to Embrace Sustainable Development

May 12, 2011: Today at a press conference in Elon, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released its report The Importance of Sustainable Development in Troubled Economic Times. The new report provides a blueprint for community planning. The League also presented a list of recommendations for economic development which protect the health and quality of life of present and future residents and the natural and cultural resources of Alamance County.

BREDL Press Release | Report: The Importance of Sustainable Development in Troubled Economic Times | Recommendations for Alamance County


League Urges EPA to Hold the Line Against Biomass Incineration

May 5, 2011: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released its comments on the Environmental Protections Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas emission rules. The League called for a halt in permitting of incinerators using biomass fuel until carbon dioxide reductions are required. Also, the League challenged EPA’s earlier decision that biomass fuel itself constitutes adequate pollution control. The organization challenged the EPA to protect Southern communities by preventing the current onslaught of incinerators burning everything from household garbage to whole trees.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Comments: Lou's Comments , Therese's Comments


League Granted Permission to Intervene Against ReVenture
NC Utilities Commission Order Issued Today

April 7, 2011: Today the North Carolina Utilities Commission issued an order granting Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s petition to intervene in ReVenture Park Investment’s request for a declaratory ruling. The order is in response to the League’s petition to intervene filed on Monday. 

BREDL Press Release | Commission Chairman’s order 


Groups Say Nuclear Disaster Can Happen Here
Call For Moratorium On All Nuclear Plans

March 21, 2011: The Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team (BEST), Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation (MATRR), and parent organization Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) issued a statement asking for a review of all nuclear power plants as they are not immune to the kinds of disasters or accidents that lead to catastrophic releases of radiation to air, ground, and water.

Group's Press Release


Campaign to Change Energy Policy in the Southeast
Biomass is a False Solution

Jan. 27, 2011: Today at a press conference the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League launched a campaign to halt biomass energy incinerators in the Southeast. Based on its new report on biomass energy, Smoke and Mirrors, the League will press for local, state and national policy changes to reduce global warming. The message is: Biomass is a False Solution.

Read BREDL Press Release | Press Conference Slides | Report: "Smoke and Mirrors"


Groups Call for Reductions in Medical Waste Incineration

Jan. 24, 2011: A new report cites broad increases in the amount of medical waste unnecessarily incinerated in North Carolina and argues that much of this waste could be treated safely with less cost using already approved non-burning methods. The report urges state regulators to lead a coordinated effort to reduce unnecessary incineration and involve North Carolina healthcare facilities in solving this problem.

Download the report: "Medical Waste in NC: The need to reduce incineration by more effective waste segregation and use of nonincineration technologies"
Read Press Release


Reactor Flaws Neglected as Regulators Rush to License New Nuclear Plants, Says Engineer

Jan. 10, 2011: Former nuclear Senior VP points to more cracks found at operating reactors; groups urge advisory panel to force correction of containment design flaws.

Read AP1000 Oversight Group Press Release
(BREDL is a part of the AP1000 Oversight Group)


Virginia Supreme Court Agrees to Hear North Anna Appeal

Dec. 15, 2010: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League announced that Virginia’s highest court has agreed to hear their appeal of a Dominion-Virginia Power permit.

BREDL Press Release | View Virginia Court of Appeals Ruling



2010


Virginia Supreme Court Agrees to Hear North Anna Appeal

Dec. 15, 2010: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League announced that Virginia’s highest court has agreed to hear their appeal of a Dominion-Virginia Power permit.

BREDL Press Release | View Virginia Court of Appeals Ruling


Groups Call for BMWNC Shut-down
New Pollution Study Identifies Harm

Nov. 9, 2010: Today at a press conference in Matthews, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Citizens for a Healthy Environment released an air pollution study which concludes that the BMWNC medical waste incinerator is too dangerous to operate. The groups called for a shut-down of the incinerator.

BREDL Press Release | BMWNC Air Modeling Report



Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to Hear Arguments
Groups Call for Special Investigation of NRC Secrecy

On Tuesday, October 19, 2010 the attorney for the Center for a Sustainable Coast, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will argue the groups’ case against use of the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor design at Plant Vogtle before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. The AP1000 is slated for use in reactors throughout the Southeast.

BREDL Press Advisory | October 18th letter to NRC


Citizens to demand medical waste incinerators abide by new EPA rules by 2012
League Chapters say 4 years too long to wait for cleaner air

Sept. 1, 2010: Members of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s two chapters, Citizens for a Healthy Environment (CHE) and Clean Air Now (CAN), will testify at a public hearing sponsored by the NC Environmental Management Commission (EMC). The hearing will take place on Sept 7th at 7 p.m. at the University of North Carolina Greensboro Campus, Moore Humanities & Research Administration, Spring Garden Street, Bldg. 246, Rm. #1215, Greensboro, NC, 27412.

Read BREDL Press Release | BREDL Action Alert



Citizens to demand medical waste incinerators abide by new EPA rules by 2012
League Chapters say 4 years too long to wait for cleaner air

Sept. 1, 2010: Members of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s two chapters, Citizens for a Healthy Environment (CHE) and Clean Air Now (CAN), will testify at a public hearing sponsored by the NC Environmental Management Commission (EMC). The hearing will take place on Sept 7th at 7 p.m. at the University of North Carolina Greensboro Campus, Moore Humanities & Research Administration, Spring Garden Street, Bldg. 246, Rm. #1215, Greensboro, NC, 27412.

Read BREDL Press Release | BREDL Action Alert



Groups File New Legal Challenge at Plant Vogtle

Aug. 17, 2010: League files new contention with nuclear licensing board regarding inadequacy of containment/coating inspection program for Vogtle Units 3 and 4.

Louis Zeller, Science Director for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, explained why the groups took this action. "Southern Nuclear Company has overlooked a major problem which we simply cannot allow to go unchallenged. The fundamental requirement of the operator is to protect public health and safety. Southern Nuclear Company is not doing its job.

View Press Release | BREDL Supplemental Contention


League Files Unprecedented Air Pollution Challenge at Plant Vogtle

Aug. 12, 2010: This week in a bold move, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a legal challenge to the proposed air pollution permit at Plant Vogtle. The August 10th filing was one of the first in the nation under the federal Clean Air Act challenging excessive radionuclide emissions from nuclear power. In a petition to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the League called for rejection of the permit issued by the State of Georgia because it failed to limit radioactive air pollution, failed to protect public health and failed to prevent environmental injustice.

BREDL Press Release | View BREDL Petition


League Challenges Dominion's New Reactor Design

June 18: Lou Zeller, representative for the League, said, “Dominion’s switching of reactor technology is like altering the foundation after the walls are up.” He said that the switch this late in licensing the plant would make it difficult to regulate. Zeller added, “The Commission may lack the regulatory duck tape to piece it together.” He drew a comparison of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission with the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, the agency which oversees offshore oil drilling and which became too accommodating to its licensees.

View Contention Eleven filed June 17 | Read BREDL Press Release


League demands protection for NC drinking water from sewage sludge

June 21, 2010: Today at a press conference in Raleigh, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League called for a moratorium on the spreading of sewage sludge in critical watersheds. The League released two reports which detail sewage sludge spreading in critical areas that supply drinking water to downstream communities. These sites are located in Orange, Alamance, Gaston, Caldwell, Catawba, and Wake counties. The League maintains that these sludge sites pose an imminent hazard to public health and the environment.

BREDL Press Release


REPORTS:

Sludge Spreading in Critical Watersheds in North Carolina

Why sludge should be banned from critical watersheds

MAPS:

Map of Permitted Sludge Fields in Critical Watersheds of North Carolina Sludge fields permitted before 1992
Map of Permitted Sludge Fields in Critical Watersheds of North Carolina Sludge fields permitted after 1992

New report reveals sewage sludge fields permitted in critical watersheds in 6 NC counties

Senator Ellie Kinnaird will host a press conference in the press room at the NC General Assembly on Monday, June 21 at 3 p.m. Senator Kinnaird will discuss the findings of a new report to be released by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. The League’s report, “Sludge Spreading in Critical Watersheds of North Carolina,” discusses the spreading of sewage sludge on farmlands in these critical watersheds. The report lists the locations of each field and summarizes the risks to public health and the environment. At the press conference, the League’s Sue Dayton will present a series of maps showing the locations of each of the sludge fields.

BREDL Press Advisory


League to Lay Out the Case Against Plasma Arc Incineration

On Monday at the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners meeting the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will release a report on plasma arc incineration. Louis Zeller, the League’s Science Director, will present the report and recommend a moratorium on waste incineration, including plasma arc.

Read BREDL Press Advisory | BREDL comments
Permit documents and other comments are available at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection website: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/Air/emission/construction/geoplasma.htm


League releases data showing unacceptable levels of toxic air pollutants
from Stericycle medical waste incinerator

May 25, 2010: BREDL Press Release
BREDL comments on draft Title V permit for Stericycle
Reductions of emissions at Stericycle under the new EPA limits

Groups to hold press conference on Stericycle’s pollution

On Tuesday, May 25, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and the Haw River Assembly will hold a press conference to reveal flaws in the proposed permit for the Stericycle medical waste incinerator, located in Haw River, NC.
Read BREDL Press Advisory

Resolutions on early implementation of federal standards for medical waste incinerators
Town of Green Level Resolution
City of Mebane Resolution
Town of Chapel Hill Resolution
Town of Hillsborough Resolution
Town of Haw River Resolution
Chatham County Resolution
Town of Carrboro Resolution
Orange County Resolution adopted on May 17 requiring Stericycle to comply with the new and more protective EPA rules by 2012 instead of 2014.
Mecklenburg County Resolutions:
(1) Resolution directing the county to move forward with adoption/implementation of the new EPA rules
(2) Resolution requesting that all med waste incinerators in NC come into compliance by 2012



Mecklenburg County passes resolutions to request
early implementation of new EPA rules by Oct. 6, 2012.

April 22, 2010: The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners have given county residents a fitting Earth Day gift. In an effort to help protect Matthews-area residents from exposure to toxic air emissions from the BMWNC medical waste incinerator, located on the border of Matthews and Stallings, commissioners unanimously approved two resolutions at their April 20 meeting, requesting early implementation of the new 2014 EPA guidelines on medical waste incinerator Title V permits in Mecklenburg County. The county wants to shave two years off the four years allowed under the new EPA rules for medical waste incinerators to come into compliance with the new rules.
Read
Citizens for a Healthy Environment Press Release
View Mecklenburg County Resolutions


Groups Urge Feds to Suspend Nuclear Licensing;
Westinghouse Reactor Defect Was Missed By Regulators


April 21, 2010: Today the League and other environmental groups held a national press teleconference to reveal a fatal flaw in America’s planned expansion of nuclear power. We released a detailed engineering analysis of a problem with the Westinghouse AP1000. This marks the launch of a new national initiative.

Read Press Release
April 21 Letter to NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko requesting review of AP1000 Design Defect
April 21 Petition to NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Chairman Dr. Said Abdel-Khalik requesting investigation into AP1000 Design Defect
AP1000 Design Defect Diagram


BMWNC medical waste incinerator is operating on expired permit
League calls on MCAQ to re-issue permit under new, more protective EPA rules

April 6, 2010: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has confirmed that the BMWNC medical waste in incinerator in Matthews, NC, has been operating without a valid permit since March of 2009. The information was submitted to the Mecklenburg County Air Quality in comments concerning the incinerator’s application for a permit renewal. By law, a medical waste incinerator cannot operate without a valid Title V air quality permit, and an application for renewal must be submitted to the governing agency nine months prior to the expiration date. Read BREDL Press Release


Citizens Applaud Court’s Rejection Of Sampson County’s
Motion To Dismiss Fibrowatt Zoning Complaint


Feb. 17, 2010 (Clinton, NC) The members of Citizens for a Safe Environment, a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, will proceed with their lawsuit against Sampson County following a Superior Court decision on Monday. In ruling against Sampson County’s motion to dismiss the group’s complaint, the court said that Citizens for a Safe Environment has sufficient standing, has provided evidence of both unlawful “spot zoning” and contract zoning, and that allegations of capricious and arbitrary actions by the county are sufficient for the case to move forward. Read BREDL Press Release


Matthews’ residents at risk for exposure to high levels of toxic air pollutants
Residents will speak at press conference prior to public hearing about impacts from incinerator


A press conference will take place on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. before a public hearing that has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. the same evening concerning the Title V permit renewal for the BMWNC medical waste incinerator, located in Matthews, NC. Both the press conference and hearing will take place at the Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), Levine Campus, 2800 Campus Ridge Rd., in the Auditorium, Rm. 2120. BREDL Press Advisory



BREDL will hold community informational meeting on BMWNC medical waste incinerator

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) will hold a community informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 8, at the Matthews Public Library located at 230 Matthews Station St. in Matthews, NC. Read Press Advisory


Rust Never Sleeps: Bellefonte Nukes Would Threaten Tennessee Valley

Jan. 11, 2010: Joint Petitioners file Supplemental Basis for Previously Submitted Contention 6 - TVA has not and cannot meet the NRC's Quality Assurance and Quality Control Requirements.

The accident in the nuclear reactor's containment area and the history of prior failures all point to further problems if the Commission were to allow the completion of the virtually moth-eaten 35-year old reactors following years of salvage operations and lack of maintenance and oversight.

View BREDL's latest legal filing. | Read BREDL Press Release


CACHE releases response regarding poultry litter set-aside

Jan. 9, 2010: CACHE (Citizens’ Alliance for a Clean, Healthy Economy) today released their response to Surry County Commissioners Chairman Craig Hunter’s rebuttal testimony to the North Carolina Utilities Commission opposing a request by Duke Power and Progress Energy to delay the poultry litter set-aside in General Statute 62-133-8 (f). Read CACHE Press Release



2009


Fibrowatt Flunks Major Tests In Minnesota
League Challenges North Carolina Regulators and Calls for Hearings

Dec. 22, 2009: Today in letters mailed to state officials the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League challenged North Carolina’s environmental and utilities regulators to consider major permit violations at a poultry litter incinerator in Minnesota before allowing similar projects to proceed. The plant’s operator, Fibrowatt LLC, wants to build three more incinerators in North Carolina to burn poultry waste. A settlement agreement between Fibrowatt and the state of Minnesota was released to the League December 17.

BREDL Press Release | Settlement Agreement between Fibrowatt and Minnesota |
Dec. 21, 2009 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Press Release | Fibrominn Violations FAQ


Dec. 3, 2009: Today at a press conference in Chester, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a new report on toxic air pollution impacts from the Covanta incinerator proposed for Chester County. The study shows that poisonous air emissions would be deposited more than six miles away from the facility. Read BREDL Press Release | BREDL Technical Report: Toxic Air Pollution Impacts from the proposed Covanta Energy Chester County WTE Project


Groups to hold Press Conference on Covanta Pollution
Chester Residents form League Chapter

Dec. 1, 2009: On Thursday, December 3rd the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and the Serious Chester County Residents Against Pollution will hold a press conference to release new information about air poisons and health impacts from the proposed Covanta incinerator in Chester County. The press conference will take place at the Chester County Library on 100 Center Street in Chester and will begin at 1:00 PM. The Serious Chester County Residents Against Pollution is the newest chapter in the multi-state Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. Read
BREDL Press Advisory


Groups file Petition for Review regarding Vogtle Units 3 and 4
Oct. 29, 2009: Today organizations concerned with the high costs and environmental risks posed by Southern Company’s plan to build two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Ga. announced their filing of an appeal in federal court to stop the proposed expansion.

Our appeal calls upon the court to review the site permit and the work authorization issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Vogtle Units 3 and 4. In the petition for review, filed in the US Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, we contend that the NRC violated the Atomic Energy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other relevant laws. The appeal states, "Petitioners seek review and reversal of the issuance of the ESP and the LWA for the Vogtle ESP site." The appeal was filed by attorneys for the Center for a Sustainable Coast, Savannah River Keeper, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

Read Press Release | Download Petition for Review


League Files Motion to Delay Poultry Litter Incinerators

Sept. 3, 2009: In papers filed Wednesday with the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and three of its community chapters moved to delay and modify a contentious provision of the state’s renewable energy law. Citizens for a Safe Environment (Duplin County), Citizens Alliance for a Clean Healthy Environment (Surry County), and Sampson County Citizens for a Safe Environment (Sampson County) joined the League in filing the motion. Their motion to intervene asks the Commission to indefinitely delay the use of poultry waste to generate electricity. The poultry waste requirement, or, “set-aside”, was included in the 2007 legislation adopting renewable energy standards for North Carolina.

BREDL Press Release
Community Groups Motion to Intervene | Community Groups Response


Aug. 12, 2009: League launches state-wide campaign to involve communities in safe cleanup of dry cleaning sites - 42 North Carolina Counties have contaminated soil and groundwater: Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League launched a statewide community-centered campaign to ensure the public is involved with cleanup of dry-cleaning contaminated sites. The League’s goals include educating residents about the dangers of toxic dry cleaning solvents, securing community level influence on state decision making, and protecting water quality and human health. The League is working with their network of chapters and organizing new community groups located near these contaminated dry cleaning sites. BREDL Press Release


Aug. 6, 2009: Citizens Groups Claim Victory - Commission Delays Nuclear Plants at Bellefonte: Today citizens’ groups claimed a victory in their fight against Tennessee Valley Authority’s drive to build four nuclear power plants in northeast Alabama. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, further action on TVA’s proposal is halted until at least 2011. Spokespersons for the citizens’ groups see the two-year delay as vindication of their stand against TVA’s plan to complete two nuclear power reactors and to add two more at its Bellefonte site near Scottsboro.
BREDL Press Release | NRC Letters regarding delay


New Report Released: An Industry Blowing Smoke - 10 reasons why gasification, Pyrolysis & Plasma Incineration are not "green solutions"

June 15, 2009: BREDL co-releases a new report by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. The Report - An Industry Blowing Smoke - outlines 10 reasons why gasification, Pyrolysis & Plasma Incineration are not "green solutions".
BREDL Press Release | Download: An Industry Blowing Smoke


Community forum to look at risks of sewage sludge spreading on farmlands: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), and the Center for Health, and Environment and Justice (CHEJ) will host a community forum concerning the risks to public health and the environment from the spreading sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants on farmlands. The forum will specifically focus on issues related to sewage sludge spreading on farmlands in Orange, Alamance and Chatham Counties, NC. The forum will take place on Thursday, June 4 from 7-9 p.m., at the Cane Creek Baptist Church Activity Center, 6901 Orange Grove Rd, Hillsborough, NC 27278. A press briefing will take place at the Center at 6 p.m. where the speakers will discuss with members of the media the risks associated with land application of sewage sludge on public health and the environment.
More info: BREDL Press Advisory


May 26, 2009: League Ups the Ante in Poultry Manure Incinerator Debate - Today in a letter to a powerful North Carolina legislator, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League called for full disclosure of the violations and enforcement actions against the Fibrominn poultry manure incinerator in Benson, Minnesota. BREDL Press Release | May 26 letter to Rep. Pricey Harrison


May 14, 2009: GROUPS TAKE AIM AT BELLEFONTE 1 AND 2 - Today three citizens’ groups announced a new lawsuit against TVA’s Bellefonte nuclear site in Alabama. The groups’ effort centers on the mothballed nuclear reactor units 1 and 2. They based their opposition on 14 separate flaws in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent approval of a construction permit. The lawsuit was filed by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

"NRC’s got the cart before the horse. Contrary to their own procedural requirements, they’re handing out construction permits for reactors on a 40 year old gutted plant site before new reactor designs have been approved and before environmental impacts have been determined."  
- Sandra Kurtz, a member of BREDL's Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team.

BREDL Press Release | BREDL Petition


May 7, 2009: League Urges Duke Shareholders to Reject Poultry Litter Incineration - Today at Duke Energy’s annual meeting in Charlotte, members of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League asked shareholders to question the company about electricity from poultry waste. The group distributed a handout describing poultry litter as dirtier than coal, more expensive than wind, and litter incineration as an economic threat to farmers. BREDL Press Release | BREDL May 7 Handout at Duke Energy meeting


May 6, 2009: League Opens Fire on Fibrowatt - Today at a press conference in Elkin, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a stunning report showing that the proposed Fibrowatt manure incinerator would deposit dangerous levels of poisons up to six miles from the plant site. The report concludes that the incinerator would contaminate the surrounding area with arsenic, chromium, mercury and other pollutants. More info: BREDL Press Release | BREDL Modeling Report | May 11 Forum Flyer


GROUP TAKES BELLEFONTE FIGHT TO A HIGHER COURT

March 31, 2009: Yesterday the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a Petition for Review in the US Court of Appeals of the Bellefonte nuclear power plant in Alabama. The League seeks judicial review of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s reinstatement of construction permits for two nuclear reactors, the so-called Bellefonte 1 and 2. BREDL Press Release | Petition for Review | NRC's voting record


GROUP CHARGES NEW NUKES MUST WAIT
FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE SOLUTION

March 10, 2009: Yesterday in a flurry of legal activity the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed new arguments opposing nuclear reactor licenses in Virginia, South Carolina and Alabama. The League acted because of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's failure to recognize that high-level radioactive waste storage would pose significant environmental risks at proposed nuclear power plants at TVA's Bellefonte, Duke Energy's WS Lee and Dominion Virginia Power's North Anna stations. Read BREDL Press Release (includes links to filing documents)


Victory in Landmark Clean Water Act Challenge
League and Lake Residents Overturn Dominion Nuke Permit


Feb. 20, 2009: Today a Virginia court in Richmond ruled that state agencies violated federal law and that the water quality permit for Dominion-Virginia Power's North Anna nuclear station is revoked.
Read BREDL Press Release | Background information | Transcript of Judge's Ruling



2008


COURT HEARING FOR NORTH ANNA WATER CASE ON THURSDAY - On Thursday morning, December 18th, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s appeal of the Dominion-Virginia Power North Anna permit will be argued in Richmond Circuit Court. More Details: Read BREDL Press Advisory


Dec. 16, 2008: GROUPS DISPUTE TVA COST FIGURES - NEW LEGAL CHALLENGE AT BELLEFONTE: Today citizens’ groups announced new cost arguments in their lawsuit against nuclear power at Tennessee Valley Authority’s Bellefonte site. The December 15th filing charges that TVA provided inaccurate cost information in its environmental report. In an 18-page request to the three-judge licensing board, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy charged that TVA violated the National Environmental Policy Act. Read BREDL Press Release | Read BREDL, BEST, SACE Dec. 15, 2008 Contention to ASLBP


GROUP TAKES AIM AT AIR POLLUTION DEREGULATION - Nov. 20, 2008: Today at a Durham press conference, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a report aimed at preventing North Carolina from exempting from regulation more than 1400 air pollution sources. The study Poison Loophole details the dangers of toxic air pollution from coal plants, paper mills and asphalt plants. Read BREDL Press Release | Download the study Poison Loophole


Citizens Take Legal Action To Stop Fibrowatt Poultry Manure Incinerator
Oct. 02, 2008: (Clinton, NC) On Tuesday Citizens for a Safe Environment took legal steps in Sampson County to reverse the commissioners’ decision to re-zone land near Faison. That decision allowed a poultry manure incinerator project to move forward. Fibrowatt proposes to build a plant on the site that would burn poultry manure. The complaint cites negative impacts to the neighboring African-American community, air and water pollution, and detrimental impacts to nearby organic farmers and the area’s farm economy. The Superior Court filing charges that the re-zoning is improper and invalid.
Read BREDL Press Release | Read October 03, 2008 Fayetteville Observer article Power plant foes are suing to pull plug


WASTE IS BIG CLIMATE PROBLEM, NEW REPORT FINDS - A zero waste approach revealed as a top climate protection strategy: Winston-Salem, NC June 5 – Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League joined with environmental groups across the United States to release the new report, Stop Trashing the Climate. This timely report, on United Nations World Environment Day and with North Carolina in the midst of a major early June heat wave, points the way for North Carolina to move forward to reduce waste and simultaneously to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
BREDL Press Release and link to Report


May 2008: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its Virginia chapter the People’s Alliance for Clean Energy have filed to halt construction of a third nuclear reactor at the North Anna nuclear power plant. The petition raises eight major issues: Dominion lacks a realistic radioactive waste plan, Unit 3 would be located on top of a geological fault, the plant’s cooling system will violate water quality standards, the plant will not adequately limit radioactive emissions to the atmosphere, uranium is an unreliable fuel source, the license would violate the protections of due process and equal protection, irradiated fuel would remain on site, and the plant would be a target for terrorist attacks.

Lou Zeller, the League’s legal representative, said that Dominion covered up evidence of a geologic fault in the 1970’s and now they want a variance because they cannot meet safety standards. Zeller said, “Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us.”

The League plans to press the seismic issue and other safety and environmental problems created by the proposed third reactor.

Elena Day of PACE said, “New nuclear reactors at North Anna would be irresponsible because the water situation is critical. The growing population in this area and the ongoing drought will only exacerbate the situation.”

The petition to intervene was filed on May 9th with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Read the Petition | Read Press Release


April 11, 2008: Groups Support Sewage Sludge Investigation - Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League hailed Senator Barbara Boxer’s decision to hold Senate hearings on toxics found in drinking water and sewage sludge. The League joined with 68 public interest groups from several states around the country in support of the investigation by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Read BREDL Press Release


April 3, 2008: Bellefonte Nuclear Opponents Speak Out At Hearing - Read BEST Press Release and see photos


April 1, 2008: Environmental Group Challenges State To Protect Communities From Dirty Renewable Energy Plants - The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), a long-time critic of exemptions and loopholes in North Carolina’s air quality program, yesterday called on the state to exercise leadership in the development of clean renewable energy. Legislation enacted by the General Assembly in 2007 mandated the use of swine waste and poultry litter to generate electricity and other biomass fuels are allowed under the program. Read BREDL Press Release


Jan. 23, 2008: First State-Held Public Hearing to Take Place in NC on Land Application of Sewage Sludge - Read BREDL Press Advisory


PC PRIDE Files Legal Challenge to Special Use Permit for Upper Piedmont Environmental Landfill - Jan. 3, 2008: BREDL chapter PC PRIDE (Person County People Rising in Defense of Ecology) has filed a legal challenge in superior court against the December 3rd decision made by the North Carolina Person County Commissioners. The commissioners voted to grant a special use permit to Republic Services of North Carolina LLC for an expansion of the Upper Piedmont Environmental Landfill.
PC PRIDE Press Release | View Court Petition

Reasons for the legal action include:
- The expansion of the landfill is not in harmony with the existing agricultural and residential uses in the Mount Tirzah area where the landfill is located.
- The proposed expansion will constitute a nuisance to the members of PC PRIDE and other members of the public.
- The property owners adjacent to and in close proximity to the landfill and proposed expansion have suffered losses of property values and an interference with health, safety and general welfare.
- PC PRIDE members were not given a fair and unbiased hearing.

More info: www.pcpride.org


Jan. 2, 2008: On Friday, December 28th, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a petition against the Virginia's approval of a water permit for the North Anna nuclear power station (NAPS) located near Charlottesville.

The League's petition states: The Board's re-issuance of this Permit was in violation of Virginia's State Water Control Law, the federal Clean Water Act, and the Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System, as well as other laws and regulations governing water quality. Specifically, state and federal laws and regulations require regulation of and limitations on thermal pollution discharges into Virginia's waters. There was ample evidence presented to the Board and DEQ as contained in the record which demonstrated that thermal pollution discharges from NAPS into Lake Anna are causing and contributing serious harm to the lake and to Virginia citizens' use and enjoyment of that natural resource. Despite the mandate under state and federal law and the record evidence of the thermal pollution problem in Lake Anna from NAPS, this Permit contains virtually no limits at all on thermal pollution. For the reasons stated in this Petition for Appeal, BREDL asks this Court to suspend and set aside the Permit and to remand the Permit to the Board and DEQ for further proceedings consistent and in compliance with federal and state water laws and regulations.
BREDL Press Release | View Appeal



2007


Dec. 5, 2007: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and the People’s Alliance for Clean Energy have filed a Notice of Appeal to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality regarding reissuance of VPDES (Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit for Dominion-North Anna Power Station. BREDL Press Release | Notice of Appeal


Oct. 23, 2007: NEW STUDY REVEALS ASPHALT PLANT DANGERS - Today at a press conference in Spruce Pine, the Mitchell County Citizens for Clean Air and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released an air pollution study of the proposed Young & McQueen asphalt plant which shows that air toxins would be deposited far from the plant site. The League’s report shows dangerous levels offsite of formaldehyde, benzene and arsenic. BREDL Press Release | BREDL Air Pollution Study of proposed asphalt plant | Asphalt Plants Page



October 9, 2007: Today two organizations announced the filing of a legal challenge that could stop the construction of a plutonium fuel factory at the Savannah River Site. Nuclear Watch South and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League uncovered information that the US Department of Energy plans major modifications to the proposed plutonium fuel factory. Read Press Release


On July 31, 2007 the US Department of Homeland Security issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The NBAF would be a new defense research laboratory for biological warfare agents. Five sites are being considered: 1) Manhattan, Kansas, 2) Athens, Georgia, 3) San Antonio, Texas, 4) Butner, North Carolina and 5) Flora, Mississippi. A possible sixth site is also being considered on Plum Island, New York where a federal facility has operated for decades.

What You Can Do:
First, attend the Public Meeting on Sept. 18, 2007. The Dept. of Homeland Security will invite the public to make oral comments. The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM at the South Granville High School on 701 North Crescent Drive in Creedmore, NC 27522.
Second, send your comments by mail, online, via fax or voice mail. The public comment period will end on Sept. 27, 2007

More Info: BREDL Press Release | BREDL Comments on Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility | BREDL Factsheet



July 17, 2007: N.O. - B.S. Forms to Address Sewage Sludge | Group Fears Pollution of Jordan Reservoir Dressed in hazmat suits, rubber boots, gloves, and dust masks, members of Neighbors Opposing Bio-Sludge (N.O. - B.S.) took sludge to the podium today to speak on why additional monitoring and testing of treated sewage sludge - also known as biosolids - is needed in order to determine the effects of land application of sewage sludge on the ailing Jordan Reservoir. Read N.O.-B.S./BREDL Press Release



NEW REPORT PUTS CHARLOTTE AT THE NUCLEAR CROSSROADS

May 22, 2007 At a press conference on the North Carolina-South Carolina line, citizens’ groups from two states released a new report which details the dangers of high-level nuclear waste shipments under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership program. Author John Sticpewich of Commonsense at the Nuclear crossroads used the Department of Energy’s routing criteria to produce the maps and tables in More Than A TAD: A Study of the Problems With the Transport and Reprocessing of Nuclear Waste in the Carolinas. The report lists nuclear power plants in 17 states from which nuclear waste shipments would pass en route to Savannah River, a potential GNEP site. For example, from 2,146 to 4,498 shipments would likely pass through the Charlotte-Rock Hill area on Interstate 77. DOE has already held public hearings on their plans for centralized storage and reprocessing.

Photos and Statements from representatives of organizations - BREDL May 22, 2007 press conference on dangers and risks regarding transportation of high level nuclear waste across Carolinas


2006


The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League opposes DOE’s plan, called Complex 2030, which calls for a new generation of nuclear weapons production, for which we believe the Savannah River Site is at great risk.  Complex 2030, developed by the National Nuclear Security Administration, is a proposal to construct new facilities to manufacture plutonium warheads, to conduct nuclear weapons research and development, and to store nuclear materials.  On October 19, 2006 the US Department of Energy published the Notice of Intent to Prepare a Supplement to the Stockpile Stewardship Management Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement—Complex 2030 (Federal Register vol. 71, no. 202, page 61731).  The first public meeting on Complex 2030 was held on November 9th in North Augusta, South Carolina, near the Savannah River Site bomb plant.  Further meetings are being held near atomic weapons sites in Tennessee, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and California with a final hearing in Washington, DC on December 14, 2006.  The written public comment period extends through January 17, 2007.

Our ultimate goal is to change completely the mission of the United States Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site from military to peaceful pursuits.  We are dedicated to ending the toxic and radioactive pollution of the soil, water and air of SRS by achieving a true cleanup of more than five decades of bomb plant contamination.  

Nov. 9, 2006: BREDL Press Release


July 25, 2006: US PIRG releases Report: Making Sense of the "Coal Rush". "Coal Rush" Threatens Environment and Energy Security Proposed Plant in SW Virginia Among 150 Plants Proposed Nationwide; Plants Would Boost Global Warming Pollution by 10 Percent and Coal Consumption by 30 Percent Read US PIRG/SIERRA CLUB/BREDL Press Release



April 17, 2006: Report Finds Duplin Citizens Are Concerned About Proposed Landfill: A new University of North Carolina School of Public Health study released by a local citizens group found that Duplin County residents remain concerned about the potential for declining air quality, contamination of their wells, and lost opportunities for future parks and outdoor activities. The report, “A Community Health and Demographic Survey Near a Proposed Landfill Site in Northwestern Duplin County, NC”, found slightly elevated rates for allergies and asthma, as self-reported by residents, already existed in a two mile radius around the proposed site near Faison.
BREDL Press Release | Download the University of North Carolina School of Public Health study:
"A Community Health and Demographic Survey Near a Proposed Landfill Site in Northwestern Duplin County, NC "


2005


Dec. 12: 2005: SENATOR DOLE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR UNETHICAL VOTE - Today members of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League hand delivered a letter to Senator Elizabeth Dole's Salisbury office challenging her opposition to a ban on using human subjects in pesticide experiments. This summer, Senator Dole voted against a measure introduced by Senator Boxer to ban testing pesticides on children and pregnant women.
BREDL Press Release & photo | BREDL Dec. 12, 2005 letter to Senator Dole | BREDL comments on rule


Dec. 7, 2005: Microsoft Completes Phase Out of PVC, “the Poison Plastic”/ North Carolina Group Applauds Steps to Eliminate PVC - Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and other environmental organizations across the country praised the efforts of major U. S. corporations to eliminate PVC plastic from their products. Read BREDL Press Release


April 7, 2005: GROUPS CALL ON GOVERNOR TO DEMAND TERRORISM SAFEGUARDS - Today at a press conference in Columbia, citizens groups called on Governor Mark Sanford to halt the impending plutonium fuel shipments through South Carolina and to demand terrorism safeguards at the Catawba nuclear station.
BREDL Press Release | Letter to SC Governor Mark Sanford


Mar. 28, 2005: Citizens Groups Advise SRS Citizens Advisory Board - Sunshine Campaign Will Allow Public To Have Say - Today at a press conference in North Augusta, grassroots citizens groups announced a “Sunshine Campaign” to open up the process of communication between the Department of Energy, the SRS Citizens Advisory Board and the general public.
BREDL Press Release | BREDL Statement to the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board


March 09, 2005: BREDL Press Release: BREDL CHALLENGES DUKE’S PLUTONIUM LICENSE - Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a petition before the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to revoke the license amendment issued by the staff of the NRC to Duke Energy Corporation for plutonium fuel tests. BREDL Petition | Cover Letter | Exhibit 1 | NRC Original Order


2004


Dec. 7, 2004: A new report released today by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) documents the health risks to people living near waste incinerators in North Carolina.  Citing as examples two medical waste incinerators, Stericycle in Haw River and BMWNC in Matthews, and the municipal solid waste incinerator WASTEC in New Hanover County, BREDL urged North Carolinians to learn about PVC, the "Poison Plastic", and take action to phase out its use. Read BREDL Press Release


BREDL joins Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) in national release of PVC Report - PVC, Bad News Comes in Threes: The Poison Plastic, Health Hazards & The Looming Waste Crisis. This national report will be released on Tuesday, December 7, 2004. It provides a comprehensive summary of the hazards of PVC, with new information on the looming PVC waste crisis. News Releases and events in 19 States. For information on the national release contact CHEJ at: 703-237-2249, Cell Phone 703-627-9483. In North Carolina, please contact BREDL Staffer David Mickey at 336-769-0955.


October 5, 2004: Table slides (in 2 .pdf files) detailing actual radioactive releases to the air and water from Dominion/Virginia Power's North Anna nuclear station, and the high rates of mortality in the area within 30 miles of the North Anna reactors located near Charlottesville, VA.

BREDL Press Release: DEATH RATES INCREASED AFTER NORTH ANNA STARTUP - Group Calls for Comprehensive Health Study
Radioactive Materials Released from North Anna Nuclear Reactors from 1978-1987

Changes in Death Rates in nine counties closest to North Anna Nuclear Plant after startup of reactors

July 17, 2004: Brunswick Citizens For A Safe Environment, a BREDL chapter, is fighting a proposed Hugo Neu auto fluff landfill in their community of Leland, NC (link to pictures, auto fluff factsheet, and additional info.) | July 10, 2004 Press Release


June 2, 2004: Read Press Release and link to Report - Interstate 73 is one of the most wasteful highway projects in the nation, according to a new report released today by Virginians for Appropriate Roads (VAR), Citizens Concerned about I-73, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS), and Friends of the Earth (FoE). The report, Road to Ruin, identifies the 27 most wasteful highway projects in the country.


April 27, 2004: Read Press Release and Lou Zeller Statement - Citizens Charge US With Nuclear Treaty Violation : Today at a press conference at the United Nations, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League charged the United States with violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and called for international inspections of weapons facilities in South Carolina.


March 25, 2004: Read Press Advisory - PACE, a BREDL chapter, Anti-Nuclear Day of Action: Commemorating Three Mile Island to be held in Charlottesville, VA (includes a Talk by Lois Gibbs, BREDL mock nuclear cask)


March 8, 2004: BREDL’s Lawsuit Against Duke’s Plutonium Fuel Tests Wins Full Hearing. In a ruling by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, the three-judge panel agreed to hear three specific objections to the experimental project. Read Press Release | Read NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruling (.pdf)


February 19, 2004: Post-9/11 Terrorism Measures Not Applicable to Duke’s Plutonium Fuel | NRC Chooses Secrecy Over Security: Yesterday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that confidential NRC upgrades to the security requirements for nuclear power plants and plutonium processing facilities, imposed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have “nothing to do” with a proposed license amendment that would allow Duke Energy Corporation to use bomb-grade plutonium at the Catawba nuclear power plant. Read Press Release


Feb. 12, 2004: BREDL Press Release - GROUPS HOLD PEOPLE’S HEARING ON INTERNATIONAL PAPER: Today in Lake Waccamaw the BE SAFE North Carolina Campaign hosted a public hearing on the air permits and new proposals for International Paper at Riegelwood. Speakers took aim at the recently issued Clean Air Act permit and IP’s proposal to avoid meeting federal maximum achievable control technology standards. IP has proposed to substitute a computer-modeled risk assessment for federally mandated technological improvements.


Jan.14, 2004: On Thursday, January 15th, representatives of the southeastern regional Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will argue against plutonium fuel testing at Duke Energy’s Catawba nuclear plant at a second hearing before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Read Press Advisory


2003


Dec. 02, 2003: On Wednesday, December 3rd, representatives of the southeastern regional Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will argue against plutonium fuel testing at Duke Energy’s Catawba nuclear plant at an ajudicatory hearing before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Read Press Advisory


Oct. 20, 2003: Today at press conferences in Asheville, High Point and Durham, statewide and regional organizations launched the BE SAFE North Carolina campaign. Groups from across the state will promote the “better-safe-than-sorry” approach to protection of public health and the environment. The mission of BE SAFE NC is to protect children’s health and to safeguard our air, water, and workplaces.


Sept. 22, 2003: Keeper of the National Register reaffirms status of Southeast Roanoke, VA Historic District; Historic resources form hurdles to I-73's construction. - The Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places has reaffirmed the historic status of the Southeast Roanoke Historic District, a late 19th/early 20th century mixed-use working class neighborhood nominated as an historic district by Virginians for Appropriate Roads (VAR) and found eligible for inclusion in the National Register last October. VAR is a BREDL chapter. Read VAR Press Release and additional information (includes link to map and agency letters)


July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG cite numerous flaws with DEQ’s approval of Wythe County, VA asphalt plant. Groups request DEQ to stop relocation and re-open permitting process. Read Press Release | July 25, 2003: BREDL and WEAG letter to Virginia DEQ Director Robert Burnley requesting determination of permit exemptions. (.pdf) | More information including BREDL/DEQ correspondence, background, pictures.


June 3, 2003: G-8 FAILS TO FUND PLUTONIUM FUEL
INTERNATIONAL ANTI-PLUTONIUM CAMPAIGNERS ARRESTED IN RUSSIA

Today at a press conference in Augusta, Georgia, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League announced that the international campaign to stop plutonium fuel has succeeded in delaying funding but at the cost of an erosion of civil rights. Read BREDL Press Release | May 30, 2003: Letter to Heads of State of the Group of Eight Nations from Non-governmental Organizations opposing Plutonium Fuel | On May 27, 2003, twelve Russian activists were arrested near the Ministry of atomic power in Moscow for speaking out in opposition to plutonium fuel (MOX)


2002


Nov. 22, 2002: BREDL Press Release | BREDL releases Don Moniak report: "Does America Need A New Atomic Bomb Plant?: A Preliminary Review of DOE's Plans to Restore Large-Scale Plutonium Pit Production" (in .pdf)


June 19, 2002 - June 28, 2002: Nuclear Waste Roadshow heads to Florida. Read Press Advisories and Press Releases (updated throughout the Florida Roadshow)


June 11, 2002: BREDL has released a report which reveals that the US DOE's plutonium fuel testing program would require tens of thousands of miles of national and international shipments. BREDL Press Release and Report


May 30, 2002: On Thursday, May 30th the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will launch its regional campaign opposing nuclear waste transports from nuclear power plants in North Carolina and South Carolina to Nevada. See Press Release and Press Advisory for details and locations - updated throughout the Roadshow | Please see the BREDL Southeastern HLNW Roadshow page for pictures, reports, letters, and links.


March 28, 2002: Roanoke County, Va tire fire emits huge quantities of toxins. Read BREDL Press Release , Chronology of Roanoke County, Virginia Tire Fire UPDATE: April 16, 2002: EPA announces that the Roanoke County Tire Fire is finally out as of 11 am. The fire burned for 25 days over 139 acres. Only 3,000 - 4,000 tires remain on site. According to media reports, those tires will be hauled to a North Carolina recycler.


Jan. 17, 2002 - Jan. 17, 2002 -BREDL comments to EPA Region IV regarding New Source Review rules under the Clean Air Act , BREDL comments to EPA Region III regarding New Source Review rules under the Clean Air Act , Read Jan. 17, 2002 Virginia Press Advisory


2001


Nov. 20, 2001: Citizens meet to oppose Wedlake Plant. BREDL Press Release ; PVC Fact Sheet


Nov. 15, 2001: NUCLEAR REACTORS THREAT TO HOMELAND SECURITY - GOVERNMENT DOWNPLAYS THE RISK

Despite U.S. government knowledge that terrorists were targeting nuclear plants, security risks have been downplayed for years by both industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, according to a Greenpeace report released Thursday. The report, Risky Business: The Probability and Consequences of a Nuclear Accident, co-released locally with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, analyzes each of the 103 nuclear reactors operating in the U.S. and includes detailed maps of the consequences and fall out for the 12 worst reactor  sites. The Catawba reactors and McGuire reactors north and south of Charlotte figure prominently in the lists. BREDL Press Release and link to report


Oct. 23, 2001: Today at a press conference in Rock Hill, SC, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) announced the filing of a legal petition to block the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's proceedings for the extension of licenses for Duke Energy’s Catawba and McGuire nuclear power plants. BREDL Press Release ; Petition to NRC


Oct. 11, 2001 - BREDL releases a national report which presents safe alternatives for solving the problems of hospital and infectious waste, making dangerous medical waste incinerators like Stericycle in Haw River, NC unnecessary. The report Non-incineration Medical Waste Treatment Technologies was produced by the national Health Care Without Harm campaign. BREDL Press Release; Executive Summary; Oct. 9, 2001 BREDL letter to NC DAQ regarding Stericycle; Dioxin Fact Sheet; Background on HCWH's report.
Download the report at http://www.noharm.org


Aug. 30, 2001: Groups Warn South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges not to fall for MOX. Press Release


Aug. 29, 2001: A Report on the Plutonium (Pu) Situation, Promise To "Delay" Made In Bad Faith - The decision this week by the Department of Energy (DOE) to "delay" plutonium shipments to the Savannah River Site (SRS) involved several omissions of information and was another act of bad faith by an Agency with a long tradition of bending federal law and misleading the public. Read Media Advisory


Aug. 23, 2001: PLUTONIUM FUEL FUNDING NEARLY EXHAUSTED , BAD COST ESTIMATES PLAGUE PROGRAM - Documents obtained this week by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) indicate that funding for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Plutonium/MOX fuel program contract is nearly exhausted. BREDL Press Release , Plutonium Fuel Factory facts


Aug. 21, 2001: Today in testimony before the US Environmental Protection Agency in Arlington, Virginia, representatives of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League told federal officials to close the loophole for fossil-fueled electric power plants. The four-state citizens group called on the EPA to reduce air pollutants which reduce visibility in our national parks and which cause thousands of deaths every year. Read North Carolina Press Release and Four-state (VA, NC, SC, & TN) Press Release , BREDL Comments on BART Guidelines under Haze Regs , EPA BART Facts


May 24, 2001: BREDL May 17, 2001 letter requesting NRC to hold hearing on Construction Authorization Request (CAR) for a Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication facility at Savannah River Site in South Carolina. (.pdf file) | BREDL Press Release


May 3, 2001: Press Release with links to report In Charlotte, NC today BREDL releases a new plutonium fuels transportation report outlining past problems with the U.S. Department of Energy's handling of plutonium.


April 25, 2001: Press Release /EPA letter - EPA has environmental objections with I-73 (Roanoke, VA - NC border) project. EPA recommends a supplement be prepared to address significant issues and alternatives.


April 16, 2001: GROUP REPORTS LITANY OF IRREGULARITIES IN PLUTONIUM FUEL FACTORY LICENSE APPLICATION AND REVIEW:
Today, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) released documents challenging the plutonium fuel factory proposed for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, South Carolina. In a letter written to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), BREDL contends that the Duke Cogema Stone and Webster (DCS) plutonium factory license application is fatally flawed and should be rejected. The group also contends that DOE must complete a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. read BREDL Press Release


April 10, 2001 - Read GCE/BREDL Press Release - Georgians for Clean Energy and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will sponsor an informational Open House regarding the Department of Energy's ongoing plans to construct and operate a plutonium (MOX) fuel factory at the already heavily polluted Savannah River Site, approximately 90 miles upstream from Savannah. If built, the plutonium factory will generate millions of gallons of liquid radioactive waste and increase the potential of creating more permanent nuclear weapons and power production missions at SRS and the region.

The Open House will be held from:
4-8 p.m., April 12, 2001, at 3025 Bull Street, Savannah, GA.


March 22, 2001 - GROUPS PETITION NRC FOR A FULL HEARING ON PLUTONIUM FUEL FACTORY

An international coalition of environmental, social justice, and nuclear weapons groups have petitioned the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold a formal licensing review of government plans to build a factory to make nuclear fuel from plutonium. Today, Georgians Against Nuclear Energy (GANE) and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) released a letter signed by 142 organizations requesting a full public process including testimony, written comments, discovery, subpoena, cross-examination, appeals, and the possibility of a hearing before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. More info: BREDL Press Release , February 22, 2001 letter to NRC Chairman Richard Meserve


March 21, 2001 - BREDL LAUNCHES CHILD PROOFING OUR SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN

Today at a press conference in Wilmington, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League launched a statewide campaign to protect North Carolina school children from toxic chemical exposures. The group plans to work with parents and school officials to determine the level of environmental toxins in the state’s schools and to implement programs to reduce or eliminate these threats.

BREDL released a new national report called Poisoned Schools: Invisible Threats, Visible Actions. The report details the dangers to children attending schools located near toxic air pollution sources and contaminated sites. More info: BREDL Press Release


Feb. 6, 2001 - Aiken, SC: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will commemorate the 5th Anniversary of former Secretary of Energy Hazel O’Leary’s last “openness” press conference at which DOE released its publication “Plutonium, The Last 50 Years.” More info: BREDL Press Release, BREDL MEDIA ALERT , PLUTONIUM REPORT


Jan. 24, 2001 - GROUPS URGE SUSPENSION OF PLUTONIUM FUEL EXPERIMENT IN CANADA - Yesterday in a letter to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), twenty-five organizations from three countries urged the CNSC to take immediate action to suspend a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test--called Parallex--of mixed oxide (MOX) plutonium fuel planned in Canada’s National Research Universal (NRU) reactor. BREDL Press Release, Groups' letter to CNSC


Jan. 10, 2001 - Today in a letter to US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Bill Richardson, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) urged immediate action to halt the plutonium
fuel factory project at the Savannah River Site. The group charged that the recently released
Environmental Report reveals that the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was
incomplete and incorrect. BREDL Press Release, BREDL letter to US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Bill Richardson , DOE reply to letter , Insights from Offsite (No. 2001-1 2/15/01) ,


2000


November 30, 2000 - BREDL letter to NC Division of Waste Management - BREDL Challenges TCLP testing of Special Wastes: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League requests that the NC Division of Solid Waste cease the disposal of "Special Wastes" in NC Subtitle D landfills until adequate testing methods are developed and implemented that can adequately determine the hazards of the "Special Waste" streams.


November 29, 2000 - PRESS RELEASE: Anson County CACTUS files environmental justice complaint with EPA. Anson County CACTUS is requesting that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiate an investigation into the North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources' issuance of a June 1, 2000 construction permit allowing Chambers Development of North Carolina, Inc. to construct a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Facility adjacent to a predominantly African-American community in Polkton, North Carolina.


November 21, 2000 - Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and our Halifax County
chapter, Citizens Against Regional Dumping, held a press conference and rally on the steps of
the courthouse in Halifax, NC.  CARD members spoke against the county’s plans for a
regional, commercial landfill to be operated by WMX in their community.  Details about the press conference (including photos and statements) plus a report on the landfill.


July 22, 2000 - Russian and American NGOs Blast G-8 Secrecy. Plutonium Plans are a Danger to All Nations.


July 20, 2000 - PRESS ADVISORY - JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE BY RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN NGOs AT G-8 SUMMIT - 12 Noon , July 22, 2000 NGO Center


June 9, 2000 - Prisoners Of Our Homes (POOH) holds a press briefing in Charlotte, NC.  POOH called for the shut down of the BMWNC medical waste incinerator.  Photos from press briefing.


June 5, 2000 - Russian and American plutonium agreement draws fire.


May 18, 2000 - BREDL/NACAP Press Release regarding air permit At a press conference in Franklin, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Neighbors Against the Cullasaja Asphalt Plant released a detailed analysis of the pollution which would be allowed if the state approves a permit for the Rhodes Brothers asphalt plant.


March 24, 2000 - Press Advisory - Today, representatives of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League will travel to Harrisburg to testify in support of Pennsylvania's proposed clean air regulations.  The new rule would limit North Carolina's nitrogen oxide emissions to 10,737 tons per year. 


March 21, 2000 - Press Release , Excerpt from injunction motion/filing - Three Citizens' Organizations Join Legal Challenge to U.S. Nuclear Proliferation-Prone Plutonium Plan


- On Tuesday, March 21,  Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Nuclear Information and Resource Service joined the plaintiffs who sued the US Department of Energy to stop a U.S.-Russian-Canadian plan to use nuclear weapons
plutonium as fuel in nuclear power reactors. 


1999


Nov. 9, 1999 - ANSON COUNTY CACTUS TAKES LEGAL ACTION OPPOSING WATER QUALTIY CERTIFICATION PERMIT - Anson County Citizens Against Chemical Toxins in Underground Storage, filed a petition for a contested case against the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality, for the issuance of a 401 Water Quality Certification permit to Chambers Development of North Carolina, Inc. The petition was filed with in the office of administrative hearings in Raleigh.


Press Advisory: TOXIC TOUR - CITIZENS TO TAKE BACK THEIR AIR


On Sept. 20, the NC Division of Waste Management signed a Compliance Order with Administrative Penalty for Solite, Inc. of $52,499.00


Enforcement actions against Solite, Inc. may be forthcoming - The North Carolina Division of Waste management confirmed on Sept 13, 1999 that enforcement actions against Solite, Inc. may be pending. 


Report released by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and Prisoners Of Our Homes (POOH) shows mercury in tuna threatens developing babies and young children. Citizens ask North Carolina hospitals to reduce threat by eliminating mercury from health care.


Virginians For Appropriate Roads, a BREDL chapter, press release regarding I-73 project's mention as one of the 50 most wasteful highway projects in the nation.


Anson County Citizens Against Chemical Toxins in Underground Storage (CACTUS) and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) join a new national coalition asking Congress to end federal taxpayer subsidies that waste natural resources, damage the environment, hurt local recycling businesses and discourage recycling.


Community leaders from Russia and North Carolina create coalition to stop the use of plutonium fuel in nuclear power plants


NRC wants closed meetings


Savannah River in D.O.E. budget