PO Box 88 ~ Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:


April 17, 2006

David Mickey
(336) 769-0955

Report Finds Duplin Citizens Are Concerned About Proposed Landfill

A new University of North Carolina School of Public Health study released today by a local citizens group found that Duplin County residents remain concerned about the potential for declining air quality, contamination of their wells, and lost opportunities for future parks and outdoor activities. The report, “A Community Health and Demographic Survey Near a Proposed Landfill Site in Northwestern Duplin County, NC”, found slightly elevated rates for allergies and asthma, as self-reported by residents, already existed in a two mile radius around the proposed site near Faison.

Citizens for a Safe Environment, a Duplin County chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, sponsored the study. Emily Wurth, the study’s principal investigator and a graduate student in the UNC School of Public Health, surveyed 212 households to collect health and demographic information as well as feelings about how a landfill might change their neighborhood.

“It is important for communities facing the potential development of a high impact industry like a regional solid waste landfill to collect baseline health and demographic information on residents living in close proximity to the site,” Wurth stated. This baseline report will provide a means by which to measure any changes in the health of residents in the community, if the proposed landfill is developed,” she added.

The report lists several health concerns express by survey participants:

• Diesel emissions from 250 tractor trailers hauling waste daily to the landfill;
• The potential for future well contamination from landfill leachate;
• Hazardous air emission contamination of local crops and produce;
• Additional pollution added to an area with existing contamination from industrial livestock operations;
• Loss of opportunity to develop parks that encourage outdoor activities and healthy behaviors;
• Stress from changes to the rural farming community if the landfill comes.

Speaking on behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, David Mickey emphasized the importance of the report’s findings. “Baseline community studies should be a part of all decisions about landfills or any other large industrial facilities. We advocate a precautionary approach that involves everyone in the process and takes under consideration existing conditions in the community. This report reinforces the importance of understanding those existing conditions and involving everyone concerned.”

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League was founded in Glendale Springs, North Carolina in 1984 and has currently has chapters in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. The report will be available on the group’s website,

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More info: Download the University of North Carolina School of Public Health study:
"A Community Health and Demographic Survey Near a Proposed Landfill Site in Northwestern Duplin County, NC "