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About the Frack Free NC Alliance

“Frack-Free NC” is a network of grassroots organizations who believe that shale gas development using “fracking” and horizontal drilling cannot be done without bringing harm to our waters, land, air, communities and public health. We are working to keep North Carolina frack free. Learn more...
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NC river Blog

New Report: Dangerous Neighbors: Pipelines, Compressor Stations and Environmental Injustice

Clean Water for North Carolina is releasing a new short report – “Dangerous Neighbors: Gas Pipelines, Compressor Stations, and Environmental Injustice”. The U.S. is currently in the midst of an expansion of the natural gas infrastructure that has far outpaced the knowledge of impacts on people and the communities in which they live. With natural gas being touted as the “clean” bridge between coal and renewable energy, regulators and legislated incentives have cleared the way for fossil fuel corporations to profit from the expansion of natural gas infrastructure while communities bear the costs. Now that measures of those costs are becoming clearer, many are calling for the brakes to be applied. This report explores the risks and consequences of this expansion, and how they affect residents and communities.

Highlights of the report include:

  • When pipelines and compressor stations and other gas infrastructure are built, they often deliver environmental injustice by changing the physical environment of communities and effectively removing community choice in defining the built environment or the types of energy in which they can invest.
  • Living next to compressor stations is harmful to nearby residents’ health. Proximity to these facilities is associated with nosebleeds, rashes, headaches, and exposure to cancer-causing emissions. Especially along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and near the compressor station planned for Northampton County, we see potential for disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations.
  • Incidents of pipeline accidents have actually increased, reaching highs not seen since the pre-1940 constructed pipelines, perhaps due to the sheer speed of the expansion without adequate oversight.
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has essentially acted as a rubber stamp for pipeline approvals, showing no regard for environmental justice considerations.
  • The new Atlantic Coast Pipeline being constructed by Dominion and Duke Energy is routed to go through 8 counties in North Carolina, most of which have higher than state average poverty levels, as well as high populations of African American or Indigenous residents, or both.
  • Experts are warning that pipelines may quickly become stranded assets, as gas supply or demand dwindles, leaving customers on the hook in the form of higher rates.
  • The expansion of natural gas infrastructure endangers communities worldwide, as we now know the release of methane into the atmosphere is significantly amplifying global warming. It is low income communities and communities of color who will suffer first, and most deeply.

 

Read the full report here.

Residents impacted by coal ash respond to DEQ announcement on cleanup

Join us for a press conference & rally
1PM, Thursday, May 19
200 Blount St., Raleigh (sidewalk across from the Governor’s Mansion)

Boiling Springs coal ash hearing - ACT bannerYou’re invited! Neighbors of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds and their allies will hold a press conference in Raleigh to respond to the Department of Environmental Quality’s classifications for cleaning up coal ash ponds across the state, released today. Residents will also respond to the recent news that Governor McCrory, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Duke Energy worked together to rescind hundreds of “do-not-drink” advisories and will propose a better path forward.

Fracking Impacts, Methane Releases, & Huge Implications for Climate Change

Don’t miss the full video of Dr. Tony Ingraffea’s presentation at NC State University March 15th: “Shale Gas/Oil: Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells and Methane Emissions, and Implications for Energy Policy.” View it here:

Full-Ingraffea-Prestn-Final-720p-4-16-16 from Clean Water for NC on Vimeo.

Dr. Tony Ingraffea Wakes up Federal Administration on need for Methane Reductions, Brings Hopeful Message on Energy Policy to North Carolina

Dr. Ingraffea with No Fracking in Stokes leadership!

Dr. Ingraffea with No Fracking in Stokes leadership!

FrackFree NC hosted Dr. Tony Ingraffea this week for presentations at UNC-Wilmington, NC State University, East Carolina University and a community reception at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh.

His powerful presentation (view Powerpoint slides – takes about 1 minute to download) focused on the fact that methane emissions from oil and gas operations in the US are leaking even MORE than the 4 to 8% of the methane extracted that Ingraffea and co-authors estimated in 2011! This means that the amount of methane in the atmosphere and resulting climate impacts have greatly increased in the last 8 years, DUE MOSTLY TO U.S. oil and gas operations. He pointed out the Solutions Project, which projects an optimal mix of 100% renewable energy sources for every state, including NC, by 2050!

Here are two videos originally included in Dr. Ingraffea’s powerpoint presentation, to show Direct Venting of Methane From Pipeline and Compressor Operations:

Dr. Ingraffea played a key role as expert witness in the Dimock, PA residents’ case against Cabot Oil and Gas, which led to a $4.2 million dollar judgment for 2 families who had their well water contaminated, a landmark decision for residents impacted by fracking!

Ingraffea1

Dr. Ingraffea with Chatham Research Group and Clean Water for NC.

Don’t miss the full video of Dr. Tony Ingraffea’s presentation at NC State University March 15th: “Shale Gas/Oil: Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells and Methane Emissions, and Implications for Energy Policy.” View it here:

Full-Ingraffea-Prestn-Final-720p-4-16-16 from Clean Water for NC on Vimeo.

Internationally Known Scientist Ingraffea Speaks in NC March 14-16!

IngraffeaDr. Anthony (“Tony”) Ingraffea is known internationally for his work on geologic fracturing and the failure of gas wells, leading to methane and other contamination in groundwater. FrackFree NC is helping to sponsor Dr. Ingraffea’s tour in central and eastern NC! He will present “Shale Gas/Oil: Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells and Methane Emissions, and Implications for Energy Policy” at UNC-Wilmington, NC State Univ, and East Carolina Univ.

  • March 14: UNC Wilmington, 5:30 – 7:00 PM public presentation, UNC-Wilmington, McNeil Hall, Room 1005. Flier here. Facebook event page here.
  • March 15: NC State University, 2:30 – 4:00 PM, Center for Human Health and the Environment: free public presentation, James B. Hunt Library, Lecture Hall, Room D. Flier here. Facebook event page here. Paid parking lot next to Library.
    March 15: FRACK FREE NC PUBLIC GATHERING! Pullen Memorial Baptist, 1801 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, 6:00 -7:30, short talk by Ingraffea, refreshments! Facebook event page here. Free registration here to help us plan refreshments. 
  • March 16: East Carolina University, 12:00 – 1:30 public presentation, Mendenhall Student Center, Great Room 1. Flier here. Facebook event page here.

Lee County passes moratorium on oil and gas development

On Monday, December 7th the Lee County Board of Commissioners passed a 2 year moratorium against fracking at a vote of 5-1. Lee County has been the center ​of the NC fracking controversy since the inception of the rush to frack in our state. This decision has sent a clear message that even those counties thought to have the most gas resources and previously dominated by bullying pro-fracking officials can wake up and see the need to protect their health and environment!

Thanks to Terica Luxton for this video footage.

Wow! Two more counties move to protect themselves from fracking

Rockingham and Lee Counties

Locations of Rockingham and Lee Counties, the latest two local governments moving to protect themselves from fracking.

Hearty congratulations to the very committed folks in Rockingham and Lee Counties who’ve been working for years to get protections in place! On Nov. 16, Rockingham County voted for a two year moratorium on permitting and Lee County held the first of two hearings on the proposal there, passing the moratorium’s first reading! This means that four of the counties that are considered at the heart of potential gas extraction areas in the Dan River Basin (Stokes, Rockingham) and Deep River Basin (Chatham, Lee) have now taken action despite aggressive legislative attempts to intimidate local officials.

We’re very proud of the persistent and devoted efforts of the local activists to educate their officials, elect Commissioners who share their concerns, and build support for local moratoria and potential ordinances, as well as the officials who joined them in taking leadership. These counties join the cities of Creedmoor and Bakersville, as well as Anson County in taking strong protective action (click here for the full list of local government actions on fracking in NC). These protections go beyond local borders to set a powerful example to local governments all across the state. We know of other local governments preparing to act as well! If you have questions about working for a local moratorium or ordinance in your county or city, please contact info@frackfreenc.org and we’ll get in touch to help you start the process with your local allies!

Lee County considers fracking moratorium: “Face the bully”

Below, you can see the wonderful brief statements of Marsha Ligon of EnvironmentaLEE and then the Chair of the Lee County Commissioners, Amy Dalrymple, during the October 5 meeting when the commission was discussing a proposed moratorium on fracking, shortly after the state legislature passed a bill in the last hours of session attempting to further limit local government control over fracking.

What a feisty example of resistance they are to all of us!

Thanks very much to Terica Luxton, Keely Wood, and Therese Vick for helping to make these clips available online.

Marsha Ligon“Face the bully!”

Lee County Commission Chair, Amy Dalrymple: “We’re in uncharted territory…”

Statewide Coal Ash Activists Hold Press Conference at General Assembly

Coal ash activists in front of legislative building

Photo credit: Sue Sturgis.


On September 23rd, in the NC Legislative Building, Rep. Charles Graham of Robeson County hosted a press event for the Alliance of Carolinians Together (ACT) Against Coal Ash. The coalition includes many residents from around the state who are impacted by and deeply concerned about disposal practices at Duke Energy’s 32 coal ash sites in NC. Nick Wood, Lead Organizer at NC WARN, stated “we are statewide, unified and here to stay.”

Duke Energy has been burning coal for generations, but until very recently, residents living near these plants had no idea there were millions and millions of tons of toxic coal ash near their homes. Bobby Jones, a retiree from the Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about how community members near the H F Lee site near Goldsboro have been stricken with diseases, including cancer, that they believe have been caused by the coal ash. Tracey Edwards, a resident of Stokes County, spoke about cancer clusters in her community, respiratory diseases, and the fight her mother had with neurological problems until she passed away from cancer.

ACT Against Coal Ash is planning future actions and strategy meetings. To get involved, please visit https://www.facebook.com/ncstatewidecoalashgathering.

Press conference Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/6ysBjo0vBSw

Prayer by: Caroline Armijo 20:49-23:20 (Read prayer text)

Comment by Aug. 28 on EPA Fracking and Drinking Water Study

EPA NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT ITS FRACKING AND DRINKING WATER STUDY! Comments due Friday, August 28th.

In June, EPA released its nearly 1,000 page study of hydraulic fracturing impacts on drinking water. Many of you have probably seen media reports on the study’s major conclusion: “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” In fact, reading any chapter of the study, you can see that this carefully structured statement is actually misleading the public. FrackFree NC’s review team found that there is far too little known by EPA and scientists to say that there aren’t “widespread, systemic impacts.”

If you want to comment on the EPA Assessment but don’t want to read through 1,000 pages, we’ve got a solution for you! A team of FrackFreeNC’s more technical folks have read though chapters in detail and written short, plain English comments that you can put in your own words and use to submit your own comments. Please submit your comments, “pasted in” and as an attachment, to the following email address: Docket_OEI@epa.gov IMPORTANT: include Docket number EPA-HQ-OA-2015-0245 in your subject line.

If you’re not very familiar with fracking, here’s a short, useful summary of Chapter 2 of this report!

Links to short talking points on each chapter of the report: