Top 2019 actions supporting a healthy WNC environment

Judy Mattox
Judy Mattox, chair of the Western North Carolina (WENOCA) Sierra Club Group. Photo courtesy of Mattox

2019 has been a busy year for Western North Carolina activists seeking to protect the region’s environment. Judy Mattox, chair of the WENOCA Sierra Club Group, shared her top five highlights from a year of advocacy with Mountain Xpress.

  1. Our local Western North Carolina Sierra Club has been very involved in working with Chair Brownie Newman of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to issue a request for proposals to place solar installations on county, city and school properties, as well as A-B Tech, as the first major step to fulfill the 100% renewable energy resolution passed by the city and the county. The RFP was issued in December.
  2. We worked with Youth for Environmental Stewardship, a coalition of all nine area public high schools, to gather over 2,000 petition signatures and speak before the Buncombe County Board of Education, Asheville City Board of Education and Buncombe County to achieve their participation in the solar RFP.
  3. The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations worked with Gov. Roy Cooper’s staff to create a carbon reduction plan for the state, which sets the goal of a 40% reduction of carbon emissions by 2025 and a 70% reduction by 2030.
  4. A coalition of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, partnered with the Southern Environmental Law Center to file lawsuits that halted the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
  5. WENOCA created the Kids’ Adventure Club, which this year partnered with Hillcrest Community summer camp and Marvelous Math of Pisgah View Apartments to connect as many as 35 youth with 20 adult volunteers for excursions involving creeks, animal encounters, the natural world and trains.
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