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Safe Housing for Chapel Hill

Everyone Deserves a Safe Place to Live




A Petition for the Town Council to Hear Coal Ash Scientists Discuss the Health Impacts of Coal Ash on Future Residents of 828 Martin Luther King Boulevard and To Remove All of the Coal Ash from the Site

1.       WHEREAS the Town Council has already voted 8-1 to pursue the development of 225-275 units of housing on top of a 60,000 ton toxic coal ash waste dump at 828 Martin Luther King Boulevard

2.       WHEREAS a Town Council member, at the March 21, 2022 Council meeting did declare that the Council was “listening to the science” related to the coal ash at this site

3.       WHEREAS the Town Council’s consultant Hart & Hickman, in their October, 2021 Risk Assessment Report on 828 MLK did not include references to coal ash health impacts scientific research

4.       WHEREAS Safe Housing for Chapel Hill, at no expense to the taxpayers, engaged the nation’s top 3 coal ash health impacts scientists to provide their research as part of its analysis of the Town’s proposal to build housing: Dr. Avner Vengosh, Duke University, Dr. Julia Kravchenko, Duke School of Medicine, Dr. Kristina Zierold, University of Alabama, Birmingham

5.       WHEREAS that scientific research makes it crystal clear that the 35 toxic metals in coal ash are each potential causes of cancer, organ failure, and even death

6.       WHEREAS Dr. Avner Vengosh of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment conducted his own soil samples at 828 MLK and issued a report on September 8, 2022 indicated he found 19 toxic metals including lead, mercury, arsenic, and radium 226, and that the soil at this site was 3-4 times the recommended safety levels by the EPA

7.       WHEREAS the Mayor and Town Council members, as well as DEQ staff, even though invited, chose not attend a public forum on September 22, 2022 by Safe Housing for Chapel Hill, which featured these 3 top coal ash health impacts scientists  

8.       WHEREAS repeated requests of the Mayor by Safe Housing for Chapel Hill for the Town Council to hear these reputed coal ash health impacts scientists have been rejected.

9.       WHEREAS the Town Council has refused to remove the coal ash before any construction, claiming it would cost $13-16M, that it is unsafe to remove, and there is no safe place to place it, when in fact a coal ash removal engineering company says it would cost $1.5-5M to remove, they could do so safely, and it could be taken to one of the new lined landfills in Raleigh.

10.   WHEREAS the ultimate responsibility for this coal ash dump belongs to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its power plant who deposited it into this coal ash dump at 828 MLK,


Therefore, be it resolved that the Town Council take these actions:

·         Listen to the science, the nation’s top coal ash health impacts scientists, by holding a public forum where the Town Council members and the public may hear from them about the health impacts of coal ash at 828 Martin Luther King Boulevard on future residents and workers at this site.

·         Remove all the coal ash before any construction begins, using standard safe removal protocols, and moving it to a lined landfill.

·         Chapel Hill pays for this removal of the coal ash with UNC-CH being a significant contributor.


To endorse this petition, send an e-mail with (only) the subject line “Yes!” to Dr. Edward Marshall at edward.marshall@duke.edu