Clean Air Carolina honored two individuals at their annual meeting last night for their work to improve air quality in North Carolina. Belmont City Council Member Bill Toole received an AirKeeper award for his advocacy work opposing the Garden Parkway in Gaston County and for leading the effort to have Belmont become a cycling destination by creating a bicycle master plan. Clean Air Carolina supports the development of a strong multi-modal regional transportation system focused on increased mass transit and bike lanes and is opposed to more highways which increase sprawl.
As a leader of Stop the Toll Road, Bill built a highly effective public awareness campaign that resulted in over 7,000 petition signatures against the toll road being delivered to the Turnpike Authority and the town councils of Gastonia and Belmont in 2009. Bill is now advising residents in Union County as they evaluate and take action with regard to the Monroe Bypass.
Dr. Bob Parr, an emergency room physician practicing in Wilmington, also received an AirKeeper Award for his work with Clean Air Carolina’s Medical Advocates for Healthy Air and the Stop Titan coalition. He has been active since 2008 in his in opposition to the proposed Titan cement manufacturing and strip mine facility on the Cape Fear River. Dr. Parr is a passionate voice for clean air and has penned numerous op-eds and letters to the editor in the Raleigh and Wilmington newspapers to educate the public and policy makers about the dangerous impact the plant will have on air quality. He was a leader in Clean Air Carolina’s efforts to save North Carolina’s air toxics program this year preparing health statistics on affected counties and speaking at a press conference at the NC legislature.
“We are pleased to honor these two North Carolinians whose leadership and personal commitment to the cause of clean air is resulting in healthier communities across our state,” said June Blotnick, Executive Director of Clean Air Carolina.
Lucille Howard also received the Volunteer of the Year award for her dedication to Clean Air Carolina over the past three years.