Hello NCEJN community!

My name is Dani, and I am the new Research Manager at NCEJN. It’s been a privilege to get to know some of you over the past two weeks, I’m looking forward to getting to know others of you in the future!

On Monday, January 8, 2024, I attended a nine-hour city council meeting in Mebane, NC along with other members of the NCEJN staff to discuss rezoning and permitting for a proposed Buc-ee’s travel station. We were there thanks to an invitation from our friends at 7 Directions of Service, who have led the fight against Buc-ee’s in Mebane. 

As you may have heard by now, the 32 acre, 120-pump facility was approved unanimously by Mebane’s city council. The decision to approve the rezoning was made around 1 am Tuesday morning after hours of presentations by Buc-ee’s employees and a public comment period with about 60 comments that lasted nearly two and a half hours. There were approximately 22 comments in favor of the facility and 38 against*, including several members of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, other concerned community members, and public health officials. The facility was officially approved around 2 am. 

This is an unfortunate investment in fossil fuels, and yet another example of governments choosing profits over the wellbeing of the people they represent. They extensively described their state-of-the-art underground storage tanks that they say prevent gasoline leaks into groundwater. Yet, there was absolutely no mention of what was going to be done to protect a community already burdened by several air quality issues from the emissions from thousands of vehicles daily and gasoline vapors that can be released from 120 pumps. 

Looking forward, I’m energized to think about ways to hold Buc-ee’s accountable to protecting the folks in Mebane and grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know our friends at 7 Directions of Service better. 

Feel free to reach out if there are any ways our research team might be able to support you. You can get a hold of me at dani@ncejn.org. And again, I look forward to getting to know each of you better.