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


For Immediate Release
February 17, 2010

David Mickey, cell 336-624-2412
Deborah Kornegay, 919-738-1325

Citizens Applaud Court’s Rejection Of Sampson County’s
Motion To Dismiss Fibrowatt Zoning Complaint

(Clinton, NC) The members of Citizens for a Safe Environment, a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, will proceed with their lawsuit against Sampson County following a Superior Court decision on Monday. In ruling against Sampson County’s motion to dismiss the group’s complaint, the court said that Citizens for a Safe Environment has sufficient standing, has provided evidence of both unlawful “spot zoning” and contract zoning, and that allegations of capricious and arbitrary actions by the county are sufficient for the case to move forward.

Citizens for a Safe Environment filed the complaint in October 2008 after the Sampson County Commissioners re-zoned property on I-40 near Faison for a Fibrowatt poultry litter incinerator. The 2008 complaint cited the plant’s negative impacts to the area’s environment, nearby residents, their quality of life and the local farm economy.

A spokesperson for the group, Deborah Kornegay, said, “I’m very pleased with the results of Monday’s court proceedings. It’s a step in the right direction for our state.”

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has urged state officials and legislators to eliminate a 2007 mandate to use poultry waste for renewable energy.

Fibrowatt, operating as FibroCoast in Sampson County, intervened in the complaint on behalf of the county. The controversial company has also selected sites in Surry and Montgomery Counties where they hope to burn thousands of tons of poultry waste to generate electricity. Their only operating plant in the United States, Fibrominn in Minnesota, encountered emissions problems in 2007 and was recently fined $65,000 by the pollution control authorities in that state.

“I hate to think what toxic emissions would do to our little town which for the last three years has committed itself to fostering fitness and wellness,” said Ann Taylor of nearby Faison. For her Monday’s court decision reinforced that commitment to health and the Citizens for a Safe Environment’s opposition to pollution as well.