The bulk of the guide is divided into eleven topic chapters, and the chapters into alphabetical listings of governmental and non-governmental sources for information and publications. The General Information Sources section, located at the front of the guide, lists sources which are general or which would span several subject chapters. Also included are sections on particular information needs such as identifying and managing lead hazards, or determining pesticide contamination. Most information sources are located within North Carolina, although selected out-of-state federal agencies, organizations, and publications are included as well.

Due to space constraints few single-county and almost no local, community non-governmental groups have been included, despite their importance in the environmental community. Information on sources at the local level can be obtained from networks such as Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (N.C. WARN), and from directories of environmental groups in N.C.*

Entries are separated into governmental (local, state, University of North Carolina System, and federal) and non-governmental categories. Entries are alphabetically listed within those categories. Contact information for sources is listed within entries and also in governmental and non-governmental directories located at the back. The names of individuals representing non-governmental organizations are listed when they can be reached at home (for instance, when a community group does not operate an office).

Dividing this guide into discrete chapters proved to be challenging and in some cases nearly impossible, as environmental subjects are by nature intertwined. In cases where a related topic is not addressed in one chapter, the reader is directed to other chapters. The index at the back also serves as a useful tool for cross-referencing. Sources are repeated in the same or different chapters when they provide specific information on more than one subject area.

The Appendix briefly describes the Freedom of Information Act and N.C. General Statute 132 (federal and state public record laws) and how and when to use them. It is usually not necessary to use public record laws as tools to acquire information; however, they are important to know about and in some cases must be used.

Inevitably, individual organizations, agencies, and publications of which I am not aware have been inadvertently left out of the guide. Please feel free to provide information on these sources; they can be included in a future edition. Other suggestions, comments, and corrections pertaining to the guide are also welcomed. Please direct them to Susan Hass at the Environmental Resource Program, Miller Hall, CB 8165, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill 27599-8165; 919/966-7754; fax 966-5692.

* Publications which list numerous single-county and community environmental groups include:

Environmental Groups and Organizations in Western North Carolina. A booklet with basic information on approximately 60 groups. Published by Western N.C. Alliance (P.O. Box 18087, Asheville 28814-0087; 704/258-8737).

Guide to North Carolina's Environmental Groups. A book of descriptions for approximately 125 groups. Published biennially by the Environmental Resource Program (Miller Hall, CB #8165, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill 27599-8165; 919/966-7754).

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