NCEJN – The Issues Faced

This video includes interviews with community members about the issues they face in their communities and how NCEJN helped them to address these issues. View more videos like this on our Toolbox page.

Our communities know climate change.

NCEJN developed a statement to explain our environmental justice perspective on climate change to predominantly white environmental groups that seek to partner with us. NCEJN opposes strategies that reduce greenhouse emissions while maintaining or magnifying existing social, economic, and environmental injustices. Wealthy communities that consume a disproportionate share of resources avoid the most severe consequences of their consumption by displacing pollution on communities of color and low income. Therefore, the success of climate change activism depends on building an inclusive movement based on principles of racial, social and economic justice and self-determination for all people.

Read about our “Official Position on Climate Change” here.

We face these issues in our own backyard…

Our lives are on the front-line, help us today by supporting our work!


As the second largest pork producer in the United States, the hog industry has been and is still an integral component of North Carolina’s economy. Before the industrialization of the hog industry, most North Carolina producers raised small numbers of hogs, typically fewer than 25, on diversified farms where hogs were one of several crops or products. Over the last 3 decades, however, the industry has undergone a major shift. Though the number of producers in the state has declined, the hog population has increased substantially from about 2 million in 1982 to 10 million in 2006.

Coal Ash

Coal ash is the waste that is left when power plants and other industries burn coal. Coal ash contains toxic heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium, among others. Coal ash is the second largest industrial waste stream in the US with around 130 million tons produced annually. It is stored either by impoundment (wet storage) or landfill (dry storage). Communities have fought back against these storage sites by establishing formal groups, creating dialogue, holding rallies and taking legal action.


Fracking is the hydraulic fracturing of underground rock layers by a process in which water is mixed with sand and chemicals and injected at high pressure into a well for access to natural gas. Fracking has become a highly controversial issue because of poor regulations, lack of scientific research on the environmental impacts, and because of the speed at which fracking policies have been passed through legislative hands. Communities have fought back against these policies by establishing formal groups, creating dialogue, holding rallies and taking legal action.


Pipelines are used to transport liquified natural gas and oil across long distances for consumption in market areas. Ones that transport fossil fuels are usually buried underground and travel to compressor stations on the way to their destination. Pipelines are subject to rupture and leaking, as well as vandalism, sabotage and terrorism, all of which have dire, dangerous, and drastic impacts on surrounding communities. Natural resources and farmland are destroyed with the construction of pipelines, and property values decrease. Pipeline construction and use has become a very controversial issue across the nation, including North Carolina, with proposed construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline along the I-95 corridor in eastern NC and the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate through parts of Rockingham and Alamance Counties.


Landfills are sites designated for the disposal of waste material by burial. Waste material is trucked in, dumped, spread around, and covered with soil. The waste is continuously compacted to create space to accommodate more waste. They’ve been a cost-efficient way for industry to dispose of waste, while causing a number of issues for the surrounding community. According the NC Department of Environmental Quality, there are over 1,000 landfills (active and closed) across the state of NC.