8:30 am Sign-in and introductions
9:00 am - 11:15 am Presentations
Social Equity and Environmental Risk11:30 am Discussion & Assignment
Allan Parnell, Demographer & VP, Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities
Putting a Face on Your Data
Ana Duncan Pardo, Communications Coordinator, Toxic Free North Carolina
Community Mapping -- Techniques for sharing data and building power
Tim Stallmann, Freelance Cartographer & GIS Analyst; member of 3C's - the Counter-Cartographies Collective
January 2013- UNC has received an extension until January 31, 2013 to respond to the NC Division of Water Quality's hearing officer's report. The report and accompanying letter from state regulators require UNC to disclose pollutants and water use, analyze wastewater, improve safety, monitoring and public notification, and reduce proposed water use at the UNC Animal Research Facility in southwest Orange County. Click on the link to view a video of the August 22, 2012 public hearing attended by 100+ concerned citizens at the White Cross Recreation Center.
Click on links to view the video of the August 22, 2012 public hearing, DWQ hearing officer's report (large 37 MB file) and the letter from NC DWQ to UNC Vice Chancellor Karol Kain Gray.
December 6, 2012--The North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ) has issued the hearing officer's report (large file) for the August 22, 2012 hearing on a wastewater permit application for UNC 's Animal Research Facility in rural Orange County. Click on the link to for a video of the August 2012 DWQ public hearing.
Click on links to read the DWQ hearing officer's report (large 37 MB file) and the letter from NC DWQ to UNC Vice Chancellor Karol Kain Gray.
Before deciding whether to issue a permit, DWQ sent a letter to UNC Vice Chancellor Gray requesting a response by January 5, 2013. For more details and links to public documents, go to the UNC Animal Research Facility web page.
Investigative Reporting seminar
Lisa Sorg, Editor, Independent Weekly
Sue Sturgis, Editorial Director, Institute for Southern Studies
Ryan Thornburg, Assistant Professor, UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication
For more information, visit the Meetings and Events page or contact PRO at: email@example.com
On Saturday December 17th, 2011 Preserve Rural Orange members were joined by Bob Nutter of Maple View Farm, Orange County Commissioner Steve Yuhasz and visitors for a tree planting ceremony at Maple View Farm’s Agricultural Educational Center on Dairyland Road. PRO's Tree of Wishes was conceived of by local artist Sarah Cornette, inspired by Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace/Wish Tree Project. Bob Nutter and Allison Nichols of Maple View Farm lent support to the project, generously providing a permanent site to plant and care for the tree.
Contact the Maple View Ag Center and arrange a time to add your hopes and dreams for Orange County’s future to the Tree of Wishes, a maple tree now planted at the Ag Center for visitors and students to enjoy.
Growing out of a grassroots community response to potential plans for a university airport on rural land in 2008, volunteer organizers established Preserve Rural Orange (PRO) as a nonprofit in 2009.
PRO conducts thorough research, tracking changing issues, identifying environmental and economic impacts of proposed developments, raising public awareness and urging sustainable, cost-effective alternatives to plans that would
affect watershed land, woodlands and farms in Orange County, North Carolina.
Run entirely by volunteers on a very modest budget, in three years PRO has brought together hundreds of citizens to lead three highly effective public campaigns:
UNC Airport (2008-2011)
Grassroots campaign leads to University of North Carolina Chancellor Thorp canceling plans in 2009 to build a publicly funded airport that would serve primarily special interests on watershed & agricultural land; UNC airport authority legislation is repealed by NC General Assembly in 2011
Waste Transfer Station (2009)
Public pressure deters Orange County from building a waste transfer station on large, costly wetland property, urging county to seek sustainable alternatives
UNC Animal Research Facility (2010)
PRO exposes a series of animal wastewater spills, equipment failures, noncompliance and violations of county, state and federal regulations, leading to UNC returning $14.5 million in NIH stimulus funds, canceling large-scale expansion plans, acknowledging undisclosed wetlands on site, and improving UNC communications with neighbors
Preserve Rural Orange has rapidly become a valued resource for citizens, businesses, nonprofits and government leaders. The organization posts news updates with vital information to over 500 subscribers and thousands of website visitors, and PRO’s leadership is frequently consulted by community activists seeking strategies for organizing.
PRO has been influential in engaging thousands of Orange County citizens, offering proactive, timely information on upcoming decisions and plans. The group’s strength has been in promoting constructive dialogue and offering opportunities for meaningful input into issues affecting the rural environment and public health.
June 25, 2011-- Legislation authorizing the University of North Carolina to establish an airport authority was repealed on Thursday, June 23, 2011 when Governor Bev Perdue signed into law the Government Reduction Act. Senate Bill 593 eliminates “certain state boards and commissions that have not met recently, are duplicative or are not deemed critical.” Included in the list of items to be abolished is legislation enabling the UNC Board of Governors to create an airport authority and build an airport in Orange County. NC Representatives Verla Insko and Joe Hackney, and NC Senator Ellie Kinnaird initiated adding the UNC airport authority legislation to the bill.
In August of 2008 NC Senate Bill 1925 was signed into law, authorizing the UNC Board of Governors to establish an airport authority empowered to identify a site within Orange County, take land by eminent domain, and oversee construction of an airport. The site was limited to Orange County despite a UNC-funded study that found Raleigh Durham Airport in Wake County to be the most feasible location to replace the university's Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill. At the time, UNC planned to spend $50 to $100 million in public funds on a new regional airport to be used primarily for private interests. Two thirds of the 15-seat authority would have been controlled by UNC, UNC Health Care and NC General Assembly appointees, with one third appointed by the county and towns.
Beginning in August 2008, hundreds of Orange County residents opposed to UNC’s airport plans contacted local, state and federal officials, commenting on the flawed process behind the legislation, high projected costs and negative impacts on residents, the environment and local farms. After reviewing all the facts related to setting up the airport authority and the potential use of eminent domain to site and build a UNC airport, in January of 2009 UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp decided not to proceed with seating the authority, with concurrence from UNC System President Erskine Bowles. Instead, Thorp and UNC committed to building a $3 million hangar at RDU for relocating UNC’S Area Health Education Center (AHEC) flight operations from Horace Williams Airport. AHEC operations are currently preparing to move into the newly completed hangar at RDU. County residents and Preserve Rural Orange board members Tom Schopler and Cliff Leath met recently with Insko, Hackney, and Kinnaird, and this week applauded the Orange County delegation’s accomplishment of repealing the airport authority legislation and praised Chancellor Thorp’s leadership in putting the issue to rest.
Since PRO was founded in 2009, our members have been engaged in productive discussions with government and university leaders to seek sustainable, cost-saving alternatives to damaging development.
Upon learning of Senate Bill 593's passage, Cliff Leath remarked, “The repeal of the airport authority legislation gives us all a cause to rejoice and thank our legislators for listening to us. It also reminds us that people working together for the common good can and do make a difference. The formation of Preserve Rural Orange, meetings held at White Cross Community Center, petitions that neighbors signed, news articles and letters to the editor, and communication efforts by Orange County Voice, local businesses and other community groups were all a testament to our resolve over this issue.”
PRO thanks community members who helped with this effort. Without their support, encouragement, activism and involvement, this successful outcome would not be possible.
UNC's wastewater worries Lisa Sorg, Independent Weekly, January 20, 2010For more information and background, visit the UNC Research Facility page of this website.
UNC warned after leak Mark Schultz, News and Observer, January 21, 2010
Questions remain about the Highway 54 site:
In our May 14, 2009 letter to Orange County Commissioners there is a detailed list of significant information that has not yet been disclosed regarding the Highway 54 site.• Costs to county and towns
• Environmental impacts
• Driving routes & disposal location
• Future plans for proposed site
• Consultant’s conflict of interest