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Rogers Road coalition pushes for change

By Taylor Sisk
Staff Writer

The newly formed Rogers-Eubanks Coalition to End Environmental Racism will hope to get the attention of the Assembly of Governments at the assembly’s meeting tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 at the Southern Human Services Center (2501 Homestead Road). The coalition was formed to attempt to reverse the decision of the Orange County Commissioners to place a waste transfer station in the Rogers-Eubanks community and to help make heard concerns for the health and safety of residents in these neighborhoods, which abut the Orange County Landfill.

“We had asked [the Assembly of Governments] prior to making out their agenda to give us five minutes at the beginning of their meeting to voice our concerns,” said coalition member Rev. Robert Campbell.

Though an opportunity for the coalition to speak isn’t listed on the agenda – and, as of mid-day Wednesday, they hadn’t been told if they would be allotted those five minutes – Campbell is confident they’ll be heard.

The Assembly of Governments is comprised of the county and municipal elected officials of Orange County and meets on a quarterly basis. The Rogers-Eubanks Coalition to End Environmental Racism was organized by residents of the predominantly African-American neighborhoods on and around Rogers Road and Eubanks Road and the Chapel Hill Carrboro Branch of the NAACP; the Environmental Justice Network; the West End Revitalization Association; the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom; the Orange County Progressive Democrats; members of the UNC-CH student body, faculty and staff; and local churches.

“The Rogers Road Association has reached out to other organizations for support to halt the building of the transfer station,” Campbell said. “At the same time, we’re pointing to the hazards of living near the landfill, many of which will continue if they build the transfer station.”

Campbell expressed in particular his concern with having large trucks passing on roads along which children will be traveling to and from school, in many places without sidewalks.

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