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The OC Voice is a portion of the OC Report newsletter where local residents may have a platform to talk about local issues they care about. Henry Haney is an Assistant City & State Editor.
Piedmont Natural Gas aims to connect a 685-acre development site to existing natural gas infrastructure via pipelines. Many of the affected landowners, however, are affiliated with tribes such as the Lumbee Tribe or the Tuscarora Nation and have deep familial and cultural ties to the land. One landowner said Piedmont has dismissed his concerns about the pipeline's effects on his property, while other activists have raised concerns about its effects on the health of those who live nearby.
In a special Chapel Hill Town Council meeting Wednesday, Town Manager Maurice Jones explained that Chapel Hill activated the Emergency Operations Center, closed many public facilities, suspended public meetings until March 30 and has moved to the Saturday route schedule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Briar Chapel, located in Chatham County just north of U.S. Highway 15-501, is a mixed-use development, with a variety of energy efficient homes connected by 24 miles of walkable greenways. Stop Chatham North Coalition is a group of Briar Chapel residents working to oppose the ownership transfer of a wastewater treatment plant and an expansion of the managing company's operations. They cite concerns over unpleasant odors, spraying outside permitted spray areas, raw sewage leaks and contamination of waterways as a result of the management by Envirolink, the company that operates the plant.
Carrboro is the only jurisdiction that has an official climate action plan, while both Chapel Hill and Hillsborough are currently developing theirs. All three towns have individual goals and areas of focus, but wider county collaboration through the Orange County Climate Council is beginning to take shape.
The Red Rebels made a statement about climate action at a Carrboro Town Council meeting on Tuesday.
Residents and community organizations urge Chapel Hill to address issues involving climate change and ways to mitigate human contributions to climate change.