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 Featured Articles

Environmental Management Commission defies EPA over state’s polluted waters

The best way to experience the swamps and rivers of Brunswick County is by kayak. Enter the wide Cape Fear River via Lilliput Creek – you might see the Fort Fisher Ferry pass in the distance -- and head north to Snow Cut. From there, if you keep paddling, you will eventually arrive at Wrightsville Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Unfortunately, this 12-square mile segment of the Cape Fear is also contaminated with arsenic and nickel, both heavy metals. The levels are high enough that the EPA has overruled state officials and placed this part of the river on a federal inventory of impaired waters, also known as a “303(d) list."

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Environment Featured Articles Must Reads

Jones Street primer: What to expect from the 2017 legislative session (Part Two)

The 2017 session of the legislature kicked off this morning with House and Senate members gathering to establish rules and then picking-up where they left off in December. The repeal of House Bill 2, voting rights, the question of raising the age at which individuals can be prosecuted as adults in the criminal justice system, the state's coal ash problem and a new budget are among the issues lawmakers will tackle in the coming months. This afternoon reporter Lisa Sorg has a rundown of the environmental issues facing the General Assembly. Click here for Part One of our legislative preview by NC Policy Watch reporters Joe Killian and Melissa Boughton.

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Environment Featured Articles

Ten of North Carolina’s worst environmental fiascos of 2016

Environmental reporting in 2016 was like shooting two-headed fish in a toxic waste barrel: It's tough to miss. As we come to the end of the year, this is an occasion for the airing of environmental grievances. For the sake of time, we had to limit ourselves to ten. 1. The saga of coal ash Two words North Carolinians would like to never hear again: Coal. Ash.

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Environment Featured Articles

After five-year legal battle, NC Supreme Court rules Asheville can keep its water system

If it were whiskey, not water, that flowed from the taps in the City of Asheville, then perhaps the state's highest court would not have had to intervene. But whiskey is for drinking, Mark Twain once said, and "water is for fighting over."

And fight, Asheville did, in a five-year battle against the state legislature that finally ended today. The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that a state-mandated takeover of the Asheville water system is unconstitutional. Justices Paul Newby and Mark Martin dissented.

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Environment Featured Articles

“Silence equals guilt” and other internal DEQ, DHHS discussions about coal ash

"Liberal groups" launched a "coordinated attack" earlier this year on the NC Department of Environmental Quality over coal ash, according to a top-level official at the agency.

Crystal Feldman, DEQ deputy secretary for public affairs, told a News & Record reporter that environmental organizations were more interested in "scoring political points and fundraising" than science when they wrote a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory over concerns about seemingly contradictory decisions about safe levels of hexavalent chromium in drinking water wells.

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Featured Articles Must Reads

Conservative lawmakers move to curtail Cooper’s powers in additional special session

The North Carolina General Assembly's GOP majority moved to dramatically limit the powers of the governor's office Wednesday as Democratic Governor-Elect Roy Cooper prepares to take office next month.

House Bill 17, filed late Wednesday during a special session called without warning to Democratic lawmakers, is the widest ranging example.

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Environment Featured Articles

Duke denies it will build a coal ash landfill at Lee, even though draft permit allows it

The line is easy to miss. On Page 2 of a highly technical 53-page document involving Duke Energy’s H.F. Lee plant, are four words: “new lined ash landfill.” Those four words, inserted in a draft wastewater discharge permit issued by the ...
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Must Reads

Disaster relief bill wins unanimous support in the House

Legislators continue to weigh what other bills should move in special session The vibe in the halls of the Legislative Building Tuesday ranged from angry — protesters chanted “shame” outside the Senate gallery — to anxious — as ...
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Environment Featured Articles

If you smell something, say something

Where state regulators fail, citizens step in to monitor the air

The view from the porch of a 1920s bungalow on East Pettigrew Street in Old East Durham is not of trees. Not of a grocery, a restaurant or a beauty salon. Not even another house or an empty lot. Instead, you can sit on your step with a cup of coffee and gaze upon the gates of a drywall supplier and the silos of a concrete plant.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Meet the people challenging the election and their fellow voters’ eligibility

The voters are felons. They’re dead. They voted in two states. They took advantage of same-day registration, which can’t be trusted. Election officials were tired and must have made an error. The tabulators may have malfunctioned. The memory cards were hinky.

The theories of why the 2016 election was allegedly botched, rigged and flubbed range from the believable – a felon still on parole unknowingly voted – to outlandish – someone might have broken in to a locked box in a locked room in a locked board of elections and entered ballots into a locked machine.

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