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

As GenX concerns grow, House lawmakers grapple with how to win Senate support

The good news is that the levels of GenX in Wilmington’s drinking water is testing consistently below the state’s provisional health goal. The bad news is that GenX has been detected in the sediment of the Cape Fear River and in rain water at a UNC Wilmington weather station 70 miles from Chemours, a known source of the chemical.

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Environment Top Story

12 years of negligence. 1 million gallons of manure. A $64,000 fine. A Jones County hog farm is out of business — for now.

On a sultry day last September, Megan Stilley arrived at Lanier Farms, a large swine operation in rural Jones County. An environmental specialist with the state’s Division of Water Resources, Stilley investigates complaints of illegal spills and other environmental violations. The people responsible are rarely glad to see her.

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Education Top Story

Special update: Controversial bill on class size, pipeline fund, elections/ethics board merger heads to the Governor

An omnibus bill alleviating some of the headaches associated with North Carolina’s class size crisis easily passed the state House by a 104-12 margin Tuesday, despite continuing opposition from top Democrats on its controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Board of Elections provisions.

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Top Story

Legislators interrogate Cooper’s newest aide over control of mitigation money

Thursday afternoon Lee Lilley ambled over to Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building thinking he had been summoned to cordially introduce himself to Joint Appropriations Committee.

But Lilley, on his fifth day on the job as Gov. Cooper’s new legislative director, instead walked into a buzzsaw.

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Environment Top Story

Renewable energy? Legislative committee considers whether NC trees burned in UK and EU should qualify

From the initial roar of a chainsaw to a North Carolina tree’s final incineration in a British power plant, the wood pellet industry disguises itself as a purveyor of renewable energy. But science shows that the practice of burning wood on a utility scale not only damages forest biodiversity but also releases more carbon into the air per megawatt than coal.

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Top Story

Sorrow and outrage over GenX contamination in drinking water

DuPont had yet to break ground on its chemical plant when Elsie Dew's father dug Marshwood Lake in 1964, in a hushed forest off Tranquility Road near the Cumberland-Bladen County line.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers – a closer look at the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Gov. Roy Cooper last week brokered a controversial memorandum of understanding with Dominion Power, which co-owns with Duke Energy, the even more controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Under the agreement, Duke and Dominion will pay a total of $57.8 million to a mitigation fund to pay for the “unavoidable” environmental damage caused by the pipeline, as well as for “support and funding” for economic development and renewable energy in the eight counties in eastern North Carolina affected by the ACP: Northampton, Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson.

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Environment Top Story

Analysis of campaign finance reports: Ag, environmental interests spent generously in second half of 2017

Dominion Energy’s political action committee contributed more than $31,000 to state lawmakers in the final six months of 2017, most of it within 10 days of an override vote on Senate Bill 16. That measure, “Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2017,” contained a key provision for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The omnibus bill allows out-of-state companies, like Virginia-based Dominion, to use eminent domain to secure land to build pipelines.

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Environment Top Story

Where to put NC’s coal ash? Court of Appeals asked to rule on legality of high-profile option

It has been nearly four years since Feb. 2, 2014, when 39,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons of contaminated water spilled from a failed impoundment at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden. And on Wednesday — Day 1,453 since the disaster that forever changed the state’s environmental landscape — a flight of lawyers appeared before a three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

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Environment Top Story

Strange bedfellows? Polluters, environmental groups form new coalition to lobby state government

On a cozy autumn evening at the luxurious Umstead Hotel in Cary, a medley of corporate luminaries, state lawmakers and environmentalists made small talk and mingled over drinks. The occasion: the formation of a new “unconventional partnership” with a “bold mission.” North Carolina Forever, said Kathy Higgins, vice president of corporate affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield, “will bring together diverse interests” to encourage “reasonable and necessary investments” in land conservation and water protection.

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