North Carolina

A CAFO stores toxic hog waste in an open pit.

Environmental Injustice is Toxic

by Marc Yaggi Category: ,

Imagine a world where many times when you walked out your front door, you immediately were accosted by the overwhelming stench of animal waste.  Imagine a world where you couldn’t invite friends to your home for fear their eyes and throats would burn from the fetid stench.  Imagine a world where your health, and the health of your family, was at risk every day because the air you are breathing is saturated with toxic chemicals and bacteria. This world is a reality for people like Elsie Herring, who lives in rural North Carolina near a hog factory farm where she has endured a form of discrimination that rarely draws much attention.  Polluting industries and industrial-waste sites often are located in low-income communities, especially communities of color that offer the least political resistance. These massive factory farms generate enormous amounts of untreated animal waste, which is stored in giant cesspools and sprayed on fields until they are so saturated that the waste runs off and pollutes nearby streams and rivers – streams and rivers that local communities use for... read more +


Victory for U.S. Oceans: Obama Administration Protects East Coast from Offshore Drilling

by Andrew Sharpless, CEO & Ted Danson, Board of Directors - Oceana Category: ,

Here’s some great news: the United States Government has announced it will remove the Atlantic Ocean from its five-year plan for oil and gas development. This is an important victory for the U.S. Oceans. Our organization, Oceana, has campaigned against proposals to drill for oil in the Atlantic since 2009. We and our allies helped organize citizens from 110 East Coast municipalities and helped get more than 100 members of Congress, 700 state and local elected officials and 1,100 business interests to join the effort. This week, we learned that the Obama Administration listened and, as a result, will protect the Atlantic coast from the dangers of offshore drilling activity. In its newly proposed five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has removed the Atlantic Ocean for leasing from 2017 to 2022. This announcement will help protect marine life. East Coast fisheries also provide cod and haddock, two of the most commonly-caught fish in an $11.8 billion Atlantic fishing industry. Now, these creatures and more will not... read more +

Opponents organize a protest against Titan America's planned cement plant near Wilmington. Photo: N.C. Coastal Federation

Todd Miller: In North Carolina, Plenty Remains to Be Done As Titan Calls It Quits

by Todd Miller, Executive Director, North Carolina Coastal Federation Category:

Opponents organize a protest against Titan America’s planned cement plant near Wilmington. Proof-positive that ordinary people can wage extraordinary campaigns to protect their quality of life and environment – plus a call to action to be ever-vigilant about protecting the waterways and coasts we love. Photo: N.C. Coastal Federation.  Eight years ago a business lobbyist who had formerly worked for then N.C. Governor Mike Easley called just as I was leaving the office for the day. He said he wanted to give me a “heads-up” that a major new industry was about to announce plans to locate in Wilmington, and that it would be a wonderful economic stimulus for southeastern N.C. He assured me that the company would be a good coastal steward, and encouraged the North Carolina Coastal Federation to welcome the project. The next day Titan America, a Greek international conglomerate, announced its plans to build one of the nation’s largest cement kilns and limestone mines next to the Northeast Cape Fear River just upstream of downtown Wilmington. Secret meetings with state and county leaders had already “cemented”... read more +

A beautiful sunset (and dusk) view across the Cape Fear River of the USS North Carolina from the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington.

Derb Carter: Supporting a New Vision for the Cape Fear Region

by Derb Carter Category:

Named for the treacherous shoals at its mouth that wrecked many ships, the Cape Fear River drains much of eastern North Carolina, entering the Atlantic Ocean below the historic port of Wilmington. Today, in the face of serious environmental challenges, there is an emerging consensus in the lower Cape Fear region around Wilmington that the best way forward is to protect and capitalize on its tremendous cultural and natural riches: its waterways and wetlands, its beaches and offshore waters, and the river that defines this area. In recent years, Wilmington itself has steadily redeveloped its waterfront with plazas, shops, restaurants, and public spaces—turning the city to embrace the river. With support from Louis Bacon’s Orton Foundation, the Southern Environmental Law Center is using its legal skills to help local citizen groups fulfill this vision for the region’s future. One of the challenges facing the Cape Fear region—and coastal communities all along the south Atlantic—is the Department of the Interior’s proposal to open the waters offshore to oil and gas drilling. The coastal communities that would bear the brunt... read more +