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fearringtndner Lawsuit Contends Legislative Appointments to the Commission Violate Separation of Powers in North Carolina Constitution CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Wake County Superior Court stayed a constitutional challenge to the state’s Mining and Energy Commission by a local conservation group and landowner pending a decision in the appeal of McCrory v. Berger or until further order of the court. During the stay, the MEC is enjoined from accepting or processing permit applications for drilling units and from creating any drilling units.  This effectively reinstates the moratorium on fracking in North Carolina. Read more here


souenvlawlogo The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) was succesful this past Friday in getting a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction with the Wake County Court on HRA"S behalf, asking that the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) rules be stayed until a decision in our legal challenge of the MEC  is reached.  We are waiting for the final written order , but wanted our HRA members to know the good news.

SELC filed a  lawsuit this past winter on behalf of the Haw River Assembly and Lee County property owner Keely Wood Puricz, that challenged the constitutionality of North Carolina’s Mining and Energy Commission in Wake County Superior Court. Given that a majority of the commission’s members are political appointees by the legislature, the lawsuit charges that the commission violates the separation of powers provision of the North Carolina Constitution.  Governor McCrory filed a suit against three other state commissions on the same grounds before ours and won. His case is being appealed to the NC Supreme Courty, expected to be heard sometime this summer. Our challenge of the MEC will not be heard until after the Governor's case is settled - the injunction we won will put the fracking rules and permits on hold until then!

Lawsuit Contends Legislative Appointments to the Commission Violate Separation of Powers in North Carolina Constitution

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - A local conservation group and landowner today challenged the constitutionality of North Carolina’s Mining and Energy Commission in Wake County Superior Court. Given that a majority of the commission’s members are political appointees by the legislature, the lawsuit charges that the commission violates the separation of powers provision of the North Carolina Constitution.

The North Carolina General Assembly established the MEC in 2012 as an administrative agency in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which is part of the executive branch, specifying that its members would be appointed by the state legislature and the governor. Currently, the governor appoints five members to the MEC and the legislature appoints eight members. The separation of powers provision of the North Carolina Constitution provides that the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the state government shall be forever separate and distinct from each other.

cwfnc1 Nearly 60,000 Signatures Presented to Gov. McCrory This Morning: "Keep NC Frack Free"

Representatives of over 30 partner organizations gathered at the Old Capitol Building this morning to Rally for a Frack Free North Carolina and to present nearly 60,000 signatures against fracking to the Governor.  A growing number of organizations will continue to collect petition signatures at the State Fair and at events around the state, as they continue to work for local resolutions, monitor the rulemaking process (see article below!) and prepare for further action to keep OUR STATE FRACK FREE!!

frackingair1 Oct. 08, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

Zach Potter

A local environmental group will be performing baseline air quality monitoring at several sites across Lee County thanks to a $2,400 environmental testing grant from Technical Education Research Centers, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization.

"We applied for the grant through the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League," said Debbie Hall, co-vice president of EnvironmentaLEE, the nonprofit that received the grant. "There are no rules in the Mining and Energy Commission rules for air emissions as [the rules] are currently written."

EnvironmentaLEE members will use the bucket brigade method of testing air quality, which involves running air through a bucket and capturing it in a Teflon-type bag that is sent to an Environmental Protection Agency-approved laboratory in California for analysis. Hall said the group wants to perform the tests prior to 2015, when the state is scheduled to begin approving permits for hydraulic fracturing.


Impact 2.4 Million NC


Attend a public hearing on the Fracking Rules:
Wed. August 20, 2014, 10 am to 2 pm, NCSU McKimmon Ctr., 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh, NC
Fri. August 22, 2014, 5 pm to 9 pm, Wicker Civic Ctr., 1801 Nash St., Sanford, NC
Mon. August 25, 2014, 5 pm to 9 pm, Rockingham County High School, 180 High School Road, Reidsville, NC

The draft working rules are on Mining & Energy Commission website: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mining-and-energy-commission/public-comment-meetings Scroll down for link to actual rules, and scroll further for instructions on to submit comments electronically.

Choose a topic that really has you worried, and SPEAK, or submit a written comment.
Here are quick resources with bullet points on these topics:
1.  Few inspections; limited enforcement. Source: NC League of Conservation Voters

2.  Setback distances.  (Rules 15A NCAC 05H.1106 and 15A NCAC 05H.1503-1505). Source: FrackFreeNC

3. Chemical Disclosure & Trade Secrets. (Rules 15A NCAC 05H.1600-1606). Source: FrackFreeNC

4.  Waste Management (should be reclassified as Hazardous).  (Rules 15A NCAC 05H .1903-1908). Source: FrackFreeNC

5.  Baseline Water Testing (Rules 15A NCAC 05H.1703-1708). Bullets from FrackFreeNC
• The rules must clearly state that the permitted operator must be financially responsible for
all required water supply testing, including investigations requested by landowners and well
owners.
• Given that horizontal drilling can extend up to 2 miles from the vertical well, passing
beneath water wells along its path, baseline testing must be required for all water wells
within 1 mile of the gas well head and anywhere along the horizontal leg of a gas well used
for hydraulic fracturing. Especially true as shale is relatively close to our water table.

When residents of America's fracking communities want to know if a particular oil or gas well in their neighborhood has a good environmental track record, they usually face the cumbersome task of searching through state records, which can take hours.

Now, a new website called WellWiki is trying to eliminate that frustration by making user-friendly data just a click away. Read article here