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By Lisa A. Young : The Herald-Sun

CHAPEL HILL — The Orange County Commissioners finally have narrowed their search for a waste transfer station site down to two this year, but the controversy surrounding that search is certain to extend into 2009 and beyond. 

The BOCC voted this month to pursue site acquisition of one of two parcels along N.C. 54 near Orange Grove Road. Sites 056 and 759 are owned by West 54, LLC and the Orange Water and Sewer Authority, respectively. 

The commissioners originally had intended to locate the transfer station near the current landfill on Eubanks Road, but decided to reopen the site search in late 2007 after protests from nearby residents. 

(read the whole story here)

A group of Orange County residents may sue the Board of Commissioners over a plan to site a trash depot off N.C. 54 west of Carrboro.
Last Thursday, before the commissioners voted to negotiate the purchase of 143 acres for the trash transfer station, Durham attorney Jim Conner wrote them a letter asking for more dialogue between them and his clients, who have proposed alternate locations. 

“This is what we sincerely want,” Conner wrote. “However … if the county is unwilling to have a meaningful dialogue … I have been authorized to file suit seeking, first, a Restraining Order and Injunction to keep this facility from going forward at the site and, second, an eventual judgment invalidating the selection of this site.”

(read more here)

At the recent 2008 Summit of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, Minister Robert Campbell was awarded the “2008 Florenza Moore Grant Community Environmental Justice Award” for his outstanding contributions to Environmental Justice in the Rogers Road Community.

[Neloa Jones, Co-Chair of CEER – the Coalition to End Environmental Racism congratulates Minister Robert Lee Campbell on his award and accomplishments in the cause of Environmental Racism.]

The nomination for the award was made by Chris Haney, Ph.D, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Minister Robert Campbell’s education, outreach, advocacy, and community organizing efforts began over 35 years ago when  Rogers-Eubanks road residents spoke out in opposition to Orange County’s siting of the regional landfill in their community.  

He honed his leadership skills “on-the-job” alongside Rogers-Eubanks road residents working to solve environmental and social justice problems in their community.  His vision has been to develop a more comprehensive solution to residents’ concerns about the Orange County regional landfill including but not limited to air and water pollution, neighborhood road safety, bus and solid waste truck traffic, and a lack of basic amenities and public services.

(for more on the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network)

Orange County commissioners selected a rural site along N.C. 54 for a new waste transfer station late Thursday despite the pleas of residents to consider other options.”I don’t like this site,” said Commissioner Steve Yuhasz. “I just don’t see a site that is better.”

Residents voiced concerns about large waste trucks traveling on small, country roads as well as potential environmental damage and a change to the rural character of the area. Some said they’d fight the decision in court. Many asked the board to delay the decision and reopen a site search.

(read more here)

By Lisa A. Young : Staff writer

Dec 12, 2008

CHAPEL HILL — County commissioners late Thursday voted 5-1 to pursue site acquisition of either Site 056 or Site 759 as the future location of a waste transfer station. 

Both sites are located along N.C. 54, near Orange Grove Road. Site 056 is owned by West 54, LLC and Site 759 is owned by the Orange Water and Sewer Authority. Commissioner Barry Jacobs proposed investigating both sites to give the county “negotiating leverage” with property owners. (read more here)

The Carrboro Citizen – 12/8/08

Orange County Manager Laura Blackmon has named a 147 acre parcel .7 miles west of Orange Grove Road on N.C. 54 as the preferred site for the county’s waste transfer station.
In memos to the board of county commissioners, Blackmon and the county’s solid waste department staff cited the site’s high score according the county’s consultant on technical and community specific considerations, its proximity to a major road, a willing seller and the ample size of the site.

(read more here)

Owners of land on N.C. 54 willing to sell, avoiding eminent domain

HILLSBOROUGH – Orange County staff is recommending the 143-acre Howell forest as the site for a new trash-transfer station. The Board of Commissioners is likely to vote Thursday night.
The county had been planning for about a decade on siting a transfer station on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill, where the current landfill will reach capacity in 2011. But residents of the historically black Rogers Road community charged the commissioners with environmental racism for extending 30 years of solid-waste activities in their neighborhood.
(read more here)

By Lisa A. Young : The Herald-Sun
Dec 9, 2008 

CHAPEL HILL — Orange County solid waste management staff and a technical consultant hired by the county are recommending that a 142.7-acre parcel less than a mile west of Orange Grove Road on N.C. 54 be the site of a waste transfer station. 

They plan to make their final recommendation of the site to the county commissioners Thursday. 

The commissioners in October narrowed a list of 10 candidate sites to three, including the one that will be recommended. Gayle Wilson, the solid waste management director, wrote in a memo to County Manager Laura Blackmon that the site, designated 056, has one important characteristic that the other two sites lack — a willing seller.

(read more here)

By Lisa A. Young : The Herald-Sun
Dec 6, 2008

CARRBORO — Two county commissioners and about a dozen county residents met Friday afternoon on land owned by the Orange Water and Sewer Authority to see firsthand one of the sites under consideration for a waste transfer station. (read the full story here)

HILLSBOROUGH – To satisfy a public demand, the Orange County Board of Commissioners brought in a consultant tonight to tell them what they already knew: A trash-burning power plant is not a viable option for Orange County. (more here)