Listen to North Carolinans testify on harms from coal ash

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is investigating environmental justice issues nationwide related to the management of coal ash. The North Carolina Advisory Committee to the commission held a town hall meeting in Walnut Cove on April 7. Walnut Cove is nearby to Duke Energy's Belews Creek power plant, where the utility stores tons of coal ash, a toxic-laden remnant from burning coal. 

To hear the audio of remarks made by neighbors, state officals, and experts during the town hall, you can click on the agenda item below.

I. Introductory remarks by N.C. Advisory Committee Chairwoman Matty Lazo-Chadderton, 9:00 a.m.

     Members of the committee present: Rick Martinez, Thealetta Monet, Olga Wright


II. Panel 1: Community leaders/advocates, 9:10 a.m.-10:10 a.m.

     Rev. Gregory Hairston, Rising Star Baptist Church, Audio

     Sarah Kellog, Appalachian Voices, Audio

     Tracey Edwards, Community advocate, Audio

Questions from committee: Martinez, Monet, Wright, Martinez, Martinez, Monet


Break, 10:20 a.m.-10:30 a.m.


III. Panel 2: Government officials, coal ash activists/advocates, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

     Chandra Taylor, Southern Environmental Law Center, Audio

     Caroline Armijo, Citizens Against Coal Ash, Audio

     Tom Reeder, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Audio

     David Hairston, Volunteer activist, Audio

Questions from committee: Monet, Wright, Wright, Martinez, Martinez, Lazo-Chadderton


IV. Open comment period, 11:30 a.m.-11:50 a.m.

     Click on a name to hear comments from:

          Therese Vick

          Dana Dalton

          Rev. Leslie Bray Brewer

          Elijah Evans

          Johnny Gurley

          John Wagner

          Rev. Alfred Warren

          Shelton Bass

          Florence Malloy


Lunch, 11:50 a.m.-1:20 p.m.


V. Panel 3 Environmental/Health Issues, 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

     Will Scott, Yadkin Riverkeeper, Audio

     Pete Harrison, Waterkeeper Alliance, Audio

     Marie Garlock, Breast Cancer Action, Audio

     Dr. Rebecca Fry, Assoc. Professor at University of North Carolina, UNC Superfund Research Program, Audio

Questions from committee: Wright, Monet, Martinez, Martinez


Break, 2:30 p.m.-2:40 p.m.


VI. Panel 4: Coal industry and advocacy groups, 2:40 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

     Mark D. Mcintire, Duke Energy, Audio

     Lisa Evans, Earth Justice, Audio

     Amy Adams, Applachian Voices, N.C. Campaign Coordinator, Audio

     Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, North Carolina NAACP, Audio

Questions from committee: Monet, Wright, Martinez, Martinez, Lazzo-Chadderton


VII. Open Comment period, 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

      Click on a name to hear comments from:

         Myra Blake

         Nick Wood

         Shuntailya Imani Graves

         Ada Linster

         Jacob Penn

         Lydia Prysock

         Doris Smith

         Deacon Bobby Jones

         Vernon Zellers


VIII. Closing Comments

     Matty Lazo-Chadderton, North Carolina Advisory Committee Chairwoman, Audio       

     Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Commission Vice-Chairperson, Audio

     Karen Narasaki, Commissioner, Audio

     Martin Castro, Commission Chairperson, Audio