Archives by: Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

About the author

Lisa Sorg, Environmental Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in July 2016. She covers environmental issues, including social justice, pollution, climate change and energy policy. Before joining the project, Lisa was the editor and an investigative reporter for INDY Week, covering the environment, housing and city government. She has been a journalist for 22 years, working at magazines, daily newspapers, digital media outlets and alternative newsweeklies.
lisa@ncpolicywatch.com
919-861-1463

Lisa Sorg's articles and posts

Environment Top Story

NC State scientists: GenX will be in Cape Fear River, tap water for years to come; health effects need more study

The Cape Fear River is damaged, contaminated by decades of human malfeasance, negligence and ignorance.

For those reasons, NC State University scientists told a crowd of 75 New Hanover County residents last night, it will be years before their tap water is completely free of GenX and other fluorinated compounds.

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Environment

DEQ, Duke agree on (small) penalty for illegal leaks from coal ash basins

Duke Energy has been fined $156,000 for 21 illegal seeps from coal ash basins at its Allen, Marshall and Cliffside/Rogers plants, according to a Special Order of Consent unanimously approved by the Environmental Management Commission today.

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Environment Top Story

You can’t photograph a smell: Lawyers, witnesses debate hog farm stench at Smithfield nuisance trial

There were no scratch ’n’ sniff cards. No fetid fragrance strips like those frequently found in fashion magazines. No pictures of the stench, since it’s impossible to photograph a smell.

Yet in federal court this week, plaintiffs’ attorneys began their task of convincing a jury that the rancid odor of feces and urine emanating from an industrialized swine farm is not merely annoying. Rather, for the 10 plaintiffs who live within a mile of the farm in Bladen County, these intrusions meet the legal definition of a nuisance: an “excessive or unreasonable” impediment to the enjoyment of their private property.

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Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the power of NC’s industrialized hog industry

Today in federal court in Raleigh starts the first of many nuisance suits related to the toll that industrialized hog farming exacts on the quality of life of residents of eastern North Carolina. Joyce McKiver of Bladen County, the main plaintiff in today’s case, is seeking at least $75,000 in damages from Murphy-Brown related to the impact of the company’s farms on her health and her property values.

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Environment Top Story

Carcinogens, other contaminants found near Roxboro and Sutton coal ash sites as EPA looks to weaken rules

Policy Watch recently reviewed more than 20,000 pages of data for a series of stories about groundwater contamination in wells around Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds: Marshall, Cliffside, Allen, Buck and Dan River. This is the final installment in the series, which covers Sutton and Roxboro in context of the recent announcement of proposed changes to coal ash rules by the EPA.

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Environment Top Story

Chemical contamination detected in Durham drinking water; new statewide monitoring system proposed

In early spring, Lake Michie stirs to life, with fishers and the Duke University women’s rowing team taking to the water at dawn. The 480-acre reservoir near Bahama is not only a source of largemouth bass, but it is also a boating destination, and it provides Durham with 30 million to 35 million gallons of drinking water each day.

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Environment Top Story

State officials struggle to keep up as GenX pollution issues spread, grow more complex

Late March is prime spring planting season in North Carolina, and this year, as part of his personal scientific experiment, Mike Watters is sowing not just one garden, but four. Some vegetables will be grown in a greenhouse, irrigated with bottled water and shielded from rain potentially contaminated with GenX.

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Environment Top Story

Landowners in the path of proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline look to federal judge for relief

A lone Southern yellow pine tree has stood in the middle of Marvin Winstead’s Nash County field for at least 100 years. It is the heart of Winstead’s 70-acre farm, which has been in his family for three generations. The tree has survived hurricanes and tornadoes, cold snaps and heat waves, droughts and floods. But it may not survive the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

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Environment Top Story

Results from federally mandated tests: Toxics abundant in groundwater near Duke coal ash ponds

Arsenic. Boron. Selenium. Radium. These toxic contaminants, and many others, are profuse in the groundwater near Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds, proving what environmental advocates, neighbors and scientists have long been asserting: The ponds are leaking. The flow of groundwater cannot be controlled. These contaminants are inevitably entering private wells, potentially posing health risks to those drinking the water. And without a statewide, routine monitoring network of private drinking water wells, it is impossible to know the full extent and nature of the contamination.

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Environment Top Story

Governor’s pipeline MOU could help protect migratory birds; lawmakers still claim it’s an ugly duckling

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is like the obnoxious rich kid in college who has to buy his friends.

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