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Rogers Road LandfillPhoto by Robert DicksonAerial view of the Orange County Landfill and the Rogers-Eubanks Road community. Rogers Road runs diagonally in the foreground. Editor’s note: This story is the third in a series that examines issues related to environmental justice and to the fight of the Rogers and Eubanks roads community to be relieved of what they allege to be an undue burden. To read the stories in this series and for other resources, go to www.carrborocitizen.com/main/rogers-roadBy Taylor SiskCarrboro Citizen – Staff WriterTo a young Neloa Jones, it was simply “the homeplace.” Jones grew up mostly in Maryland, but would come down once or more a year, back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, to visit with family – the Rogers, the Barbees, the Wests and others – families with deep and rich heritages in this community to the north of Chapel Hill. It was from her grandmother, Velcie Rogers Barbee, that Jones first heard the community, once a township, referred to as the homeplace.Today Jones is a resident of that neighborhood – most commonly referred to as the Rogers Road community – and a spokesperson for the Rogers-Eubanks Coalition to End Environmental Racism, an organization working to keep a solid-waste facility out of the community and to gain enhancements in return for having housed landfill facilities for the past 35 years. Read the rest of this entry »

CHAPEL HILL – The Orange County Board of Commissioners heard the first round of public comment Thursday on the newly reopened search for a trash transfer station site. Several area residents and other community members addressed the board, thanking its members for reconsidering the proposed location on Eubanks Road near the county’s current landfill.

The transfer station would be a point where garbage trucks would drop trash to be loaded and shipped to another county.

The location decision in March was met with public outcry by residents of the nearby Rogers Road area, a predominantly black neighborhood of modest homes. They said they’ve borne the burden of the community’s trash for more than 30 years and want the transfer station to go somewhere else.

Some commissioners have said social justice concerns motivated the reconsideration. “It is important that the new search be perceived by citizens as fair,” said area resident Neloa Jones.

Robert Campbell, another area resident, urged the board to remove the Eubanks Road site from consideration altogether. “Let’s start the process with a clean slate,” he said. Campbell also asked the board to reconsider the entire transfer station concept for the county’s garbage. “Why do we want to send our trash into somebody else’s backyard?” he said.

Dear Orange County Commissioners,

Thank you for your recent decision to reconsider the siting of the waste transfer station (WTS) in the vicinity of the Rogers Road community.  We particularly welcome your comments that social and environmental justice must be a consideration and that a fair and open search should be conducted.  Given the public outcry over the previous decision, it is important that the new search be perceived as fair by the citizens of Orange County.

 We believe the recommendations regarding WTS siting made by the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC), a Federal Advisory Committee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, offer the best way to ensure a fair search.  Those recommendations are documented in A Regulatory Strategy for Siting and Operating Waste Transfer Stations, EPA Report Number 500-R-00-001, and we have attached two pages from that report for your consideration.

 ( link to the letter here – Coalition Letter to Orange County Commissioners ) and BoCC Action Agenda Item 11 15 2007b 

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The nuisances associated with the waste facilities that have plagued Rogers Road residents since the opening of a landfill there in 1972 soon might be things of the past. 

In March the Orange County Board of Commissioners decided to locate a waste-transfer station on the site of the soon-to-be-closed landfill. But the board decided Monday to discuss searching for a new site because of vehement community opposition to the Rogers Road site choice.

Rogers Road community member Neloa Jones said the decision has encouraged her and will embolden her community in its efforts to fight the transfer site. Read the rest of this entry »

It wasn’t on the agenda, but the Orange County Board of Commissioners decided Monday it wants to restart the process for finding a site for a garbage transfer station.   

The board had previously decided to place the transfer station on Eubanks Road, where the county landfill is located. Nearby residents have protested, saying they’ve been victims of decades of broken promises regarding the landfill, and that by siting the transfer station on Eubanks Road, they’re being victimized again.  

As the Board of Commissioners meeting began, Chairman Moses Carey said he had a change of mind regarding putting the transfer station on Eubanks Road.    

Read the story here: Garbage transfer site back on agenda

On October 26, the Coalition sent a letter via email to Chapel Hill and Carrboro Mayors, Chapel Hill City Council, and Carrboro Aldermen to get their opinions, for the record, on the Waste Transfer Station and the environmental justice implications of the landfill and transfer station. The letter and the responses received to date follow here. Letter to Elected Town Officials   We encourage your comments to the posting. 

Responses received to date

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