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

Trump administration proposal likely to have devastating impact on NC wetlands

They could be paved, mined, jammed with concrete, filled with pollutants like GenX or coal ash: More than half of North Carolina’s — and the nation’s — wetlands and streams could be destroyed and their downstream communities — both human and nonhuman — harmed because of a proposed rollback of a cornerstone of the Clean Water Act.

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Environment Top Story

The case against Murphy-Brown: Inside North Carolina’s latest blockbuster hog trial

Shortly after 10 o’clock yesterday morning, a federal jury in the hog nuisance case Gillis vs. Murphy-Brown delivered the news: Hung. After a fortnight of patiently listening to plaintiffs’ and defendants’ testimony, and two days of deliberation, the panel of eight women and two men declared they were deadlocked...

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: Debunking the EPA’s clean coal balderdash

Global carbon dioxide emissions are predicted to hit a record high this year, yet the Trump administration plans to eliminate a cap on the amount of the greenhouse gas new US coal-fired power plants can emit.

Last Thursday, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler...

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Environment Top Story

Hog trial drama: Defense attorney invokes Clint Eastwood, implies plaintiffs are liars in closing argument

Midway through Robert Thaxton’s closing arguments in the recent hog nuisance trial, the attorney for Smithfield Foods displayed a photo of a movie poster for Pale Rider, a 1985 Western starring Clint Eastwood. In the film, a mysterious justice-seeking preacher played by Eastwood tries...

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Environment Top Story

Trump administration OKs seismic testing; environmentalists say the battle for the Atlantic is on

Louder than a thunderclap outside your window. Louder than a jet engine 75 feet away. Louder than the Krakatoa eruption 172 miles from the volcano. Conducted in the depths of the ocean, seismic testing blasts sound reaching 250 decibels...

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Environment Top Story

NC makes some headway on GenX, but it’s just the tip of a very toxic and problematic iceberg

Last week was a momentous one for PFAS, although considering how widespread and durable they are in the environment, every week is big for industries’ estimated 4,700 perfluorinated compounds. First, DEQ explained in more detail its proposed consent order, developed in conjunction with Cape Fear River Watch, against Chemours for its profligate discharge of PFAS, such as GenX, into the Cape Fear River.

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Environment Top Story

Swine farmers, hog industry turns out in force to oppose revisions to draft permits

DEQ proposes stronger regulations, but waste lagoon and sprayfield system would remain status quo

Jed Arena stands in his backyard, placing most of his weight on one bent leg. A former hog farm worker for Tyson, Smithfield and smaller operations, he’s been fighting off a bacterial infection in his spine. About 10 years ago, well before his recent diagnosis of osteomyelitis, he contracted MRSA...

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Original Commentary Top Story

New climate change report brings grim news for North Carolina and the world

Embedded in bark, the Emerald Ash Borer gleams like the gem. Adult females lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices of ash trees, and once hatched, larvae, cream-colored and as thin as filament, gnaw into the deeper layers. They chisel fatal curlicues that disrupt the flow of nutrients. A few months later, the life cycle begins again, and the adults emerge through a D-shaped hole in the bark. By that time, the tree is dying or dead of starvation.

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Environment Top Story

EPA could toughen GenX standards: Here’s why and how you can comment

More people living near the Chemours chemical plant in southeastern North Carolina could qualify for alternate water supplies if the EPA's initial findings on the toxicity of GenX, released last week, are finalized. The basis for the potential switch is the EPA's draft report proposing a chronic reference dose for GenX that translates to a health goal of 110 parts per trillion in drinking water.

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Environment Top Story

High-powered trial lawyers joust as latest hog trial commences

Robert Thackston, who is tall, bald, with a trunk as straight as a redwood’s, removed his midnight-blue suit jacket to reveal a white twill shirt so crisp it threatened to shatter. On the seventh floor, in Room No. 2 of the federal courthouse in Raleigh, the Texas lawyer sat at the head of a scurry of attorneys hired by Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer. He rocked in his chair and flipped through his thicket of notes, as if perusing a wine list.

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