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We Oppose the Duke Energy Progress Vegetation Management Program and Use of Chemicals in Rural NC
  • Petitioning Ms. Ann Maynard Gray

This petition will be delivered to:

Lead Board Member, Duke Energy
Ms. Ann Maynard Gray
Manager, Vegetation Management
Ms. Cathy Hope
Investor Relations, Duke Energy
Joseph Crapster
President, North Carolina, Duke Energy
Paul Newton
Chairman, Duke Energy
Mr. James Rogers
CEO, Duke Energy
Ms. Lynn J. Good
North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources
Secretary John Skvarla
Chairman, NC Utilities Commission
Edward S. Finley, Jr.
NC Utilties Commission
Kim Jones
North Carolina-11
Rep. Mark Meadows
North Carolina
Sen. Richard Burr
North Carolina-085
State Rep. Joshua Dobson
North Carolina
Sen. Kay Hagan
North Carolina
Gov. Patrick McCrory
North Carolina-047
State Sen. Ralph Hise

We Oppose the Duke Energy Progress Vegetation Management Program and Use of Chemicals in Rural NC

    1. David Wheeler
    2. Petition by

      David Wheeler

      Spruce Pine, NC

There are more environmentally sound and tourism friendly ways to manage vegetation under the power lines.  Prior to the acquistion by Duke Energy, Progress Energy never used herbicides in our county.  Why the change now?  Even though it's legal, please reconsider changing back to trimming and mowing.

Recent signatures


    1. BREAKING NEWS: NC DENR cites Duke Energy for illegal dumping

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Hi Everyone - This is significant news and gives me hope we can get DENR involved out here in Western NC. More to come as local leaders have asked me to a meeting next week.


      DENR cites Duke Energy for illegal dumping at Moncure coal ash site

      State regulators on Thursday cited Duke Energy for pumping an estimated 61 million gallons of wastewater from coal ash ponds at a retired power plant in Moncure into a tributary of the Cape Fear River. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources can levy fines for illegal discharges but it must first give Duke 10 days to respond to the citation.

    2. Reached 750 signatures
    3. Duke in Deep Do Do

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Hi Everyone - Thanks for your continued support. If you haven't heard, Duke Energy has been the cause of 2 environmental disasters here in NC in the last several months. The latest is reported here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/17/3710211/coal-ash-ponds-in-chatham-county.html In addition, a grand jury has been convened to investigate NC Department of Natural Resources and Duke Energy's involvement in these disasters. That story is here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/17/3711037/federal-grand-jury-probe-of-denr.html Bearing in mind these actions, I've asked the Mitchell County Board for another meeting on Duke and their vegetation management policy for the area. I would like a written understanding between the County and Duke that provides transparency into their planned spraying, an agreement that residents can opt-out of any spraying on their property at meetings held throughout the county and a process for remediation if they violate this agreement in any way. I'll let ev

      Duke Energy's coal ash ponds in Chatham County under scrutiny

      State environmental regulators are investigating whether Duke Energy has been pumping toxic coal-ash wastewater into the Cape Fear River in Chatham County. Officials with the Charlotte-based utility deny any wrongdoing and say workers have been lowering the level of two ponds at the closed plant to conduct routine maintenance.

    4. Reached 500 signatures
    5. Duke to Hold "Open House" in Spruce Pine in Late February

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Hi everyone. Apologies for the lack of recent communications. I reached out to our friends at Duke today and here is their response. I'm not very happy they are making all these plans without consulting with other stakeholders but at least they are trying to provide some transparency into their spraying for 2014. As always, let me know if you have any comments/suggestions. Here is the note from Jason Walls at Duke (Regional Manager who needs some stakeholder outreach training...):

      "We have committed to scheduling a public open house in late February before any spraying resumes. Once we nail the date down, we will advertise it broadly. During the Open House, company experts will be on hand to talk about our spraying schedule, products, application techniques and the “no spray” designation. We will likely have the meeting at the Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. "

    6. Presentation to Mitchell County Commissioners

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Hi everyone. I made to a short presentation to the Mitchell County Commission Monday evening. As you can see from my presentation, I'm suggesting the County Commissioners consider several options to provide some transparency into the herbicide usage by utilities, give Commissioners some oversight on the herbicide usage and provide citizens options for information and to opt-out of spraying on their property. We'll see if any of it flys. The commission also heard from Duke representatives and agreed to study the issue. Once I hear any additional information I'll be in touch. I'm hoping they adopt some of my suggestions and we can use it as a model for other counties and cities. Here is a link to the short presentation I made: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3oEVQstIORsOTh6UmROQUZlMkE/edit?usp=sharing

      As always, please send me any suggestions or comments to davidbwheeler@yahoo.com

      David B. Wheeler

    7. Opt-Out of Duke Spraying on Your Property

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      I would recommend you opt-out of having Duke spray herbicides on your land. You can do this if you are an individual or business customer: http://www.duke-energy.com/safety/right-of-way-management/pec-managing-with-herbicides.asp

      Please also spread the word about this opt-out opportunity.

      To opt-out, please send a short email requesting as much to Mr. Lehew Pardue, Vegetation Manager for Duke Energy (lehew.pardue@duke-energy.com). I wouldn't recommend calling the number they list in the website as the three people I spoke at Duke customer service with had no idea what I was talking about. I would also suggest you have a paper trail since I've heard from some people that Duke has not honored these requests for some customers or it got lost in the shuffle. Please send me a note (davidbwheeler@yahoo.com) once you've sent in your request so we can keep a tally.

      This is one way we to protest what Duke are doing in Western NC. The more people that opt-out the better.

    8. Duke Meeting Today

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Hi everyone. Several of us had a meeting with Duke today here in Spruce Pine. Duke sent six people to the meeting including the contractor who does the spraying. It was a 90 minute meeting and a dozen or so folks including some elected and town officials. While the Duke folks were (I'm fairly sure) sincere, the meeting could have been 5 minutes. The Duke PR machine was in full display as they repeatedly told us the chemicals they use are just fine and not to worry about it. I'm hoping the elected officials that attended will also do a meeting with someone with knowledge of how these chemicals might affect humans and the environment. Any ideas?

      I'm going to debrief with some individuals that understand these issues much better than I do and we'll formulate next steps and be back in touch with all of you.

    9. NC Utilities Commission

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      I've heard from the NC Utility Commission there is an open proceeding regarding Duke Energy Progress' vegetation management policies and they are open to public comments that they will post on their website (www.ncuc.net). Could you please send a quick email to Ms. Kim Jones, kjones@ncuc.net, opposing Duke's Vegetation Management Proposal with the Utilities Commission (note Docket No. E-2, Sub 1010 in the email)? Please cc me.

      NCUC Home Page

      The North Carolina Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, natural gas, water, wastewater, water resale, household goods transportation, busses, brokers, and ferryboats.

    10. We're Being Gassed Too

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      While the Syria situation is horrible, we're being gassed here in Western NC as well. Duke Energy Progress (and other utilities companies I am learning) are spraying herbicides on our land throughout Western NC without our permission. Please help us send a strong message to Duke Energy Progress to stop it: http://chn.ge/1a9neIg

    11. Reached 250 signatures
    12. Pls File a Complaint with the NC Utilities Commission

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      I've been advised by a state official that another way to lodge a complaint about Duke's herbicide spraying is through the NC Utilities commission. It takes about 3-4 minutes. The number is: 866-380-9816.

      You'll need your account number. Tell them you believe Duke Energy Progress is out of compliance with their own vegetation management program filed with the NC Utilities Commission and they are spraying outside of the right of way and in a manner inconsistent with your wishes on your property.

    13. Photos of Duke Energy's Contribution to Western NC

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Here are photos from various citizens and customers that have been sent to me. Please send any photos or other information to me at davidbwheeler@yahoo.com. http://www.flickr.com/photos/38402869@N02/

      photo (27)

      Duke Energy in Western NC posted a photo: Spraying on hill near a stream on Rabbit Hop Road

    14. Environmental Attorney?

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Does anyone know an environmental attorney that has dealt with this issue in the past? I'd like to learn more about these herbicides in anticipation of a meeting with Duke in a couple weeks where they will tell me everything is ok with spraying chemicals in our air, water and on our land.

    15. Why?

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      The unanswered questions I have been asking Duke Energy are (1) Why did it take this petition to get them to brief elected officials in a change in vegetation management policy that utilizes chemicals in our county and (2) why did they change this policy in favor of chemicals in the first place after buying Progress Energy? WHY?

    16. Avery and Yancey County Commissioners?

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Can someone help us get Yancey and Avery County commissioners to address this issue too?

    17. Public Meeting October 7

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      The Mitchell County Commissioners are tentatively scheduled to hear from Duke Energy on their use of herbicides in Mitchell County on October 7. Please put that date on your calendar. I'll update once I have a confirmation.

    18. Reached 100 signatures
    19. Yancey County Too

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      From Carol, "They are spraying in Yancey County also, right over our reservoir, garden and sheep pasture!"

    20. Photos Please

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer

      Please send me any photos you may have of Duke spraying on your property or near your home or of the dead vegetation. ABC News in Asheville is interested but wants photos before they send a reporter. Please email them to me at: davidbwheeler@yahoo.com

    21. Reached 50 signatures
    22. Response From Duke Energy on August 30, 2013

      David Wheeler
      Petition Organizer


    Reasons for signing

    • nick pallotta SYLVA, NC
      • 13 days ago

      I garden organically and raise a small flock of free range chickens. I also have a small tree nursery. My yard has been sprayed indiscriminately without notice killing several hundred seedlings and leaving poison in the soil thay my chickens forage. I think it is an unconscionable practice and needs to be stopped.

    • Jayne Llull GREENSBORO, NC
      • 15 days ago

      Stop poisoning the environment! Clean up your mess and you pay since we didn't make the bad decisions!

    • janet francoeur NEW BERN, NC
      • 30 days ago

      We are poisioning our environment and ourselves. It has to stop.

    • Leo Doyle GRAND TERRACE, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      I travel to NC a lot .

    • virginia jarvis SEATTLE, WA
      • about 1 month ago

      No chemicals are good for the environment. They get back to us some way or another.


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