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.
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Lisa Sorg's articles and posts

Environment News Top Story

Waiting to exhale: Controversial wood pellet plant would burden Lumberton with more pollution

Wood pellet manufacturer would bring a handful of jobs and lots of new pollution to Robeson County The picnic tables at Alamac Community Park are ideal for watching log trucks yaw into the entrance of an old textile factory in Lumberton. The swings, slide and basketball court command a view of the grim and monolithic building, flanked by a dilapidated guard shack and in back, a smoke stack that pokes a hole in the sky.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Duke health experts call for patience, testing, improved federal coordination in pandemic battle

Sudden reopening would jeopardize progress made thus far This is Day 50. It feels like Day 500. A new coronavirus, which technically isn’t even alive, has outwitted us. The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed the state and the nation, vanquished our economy and killed 40,000 people in the U.S. — including 235 in North Carolina — and another 131,000 worldwide, all of whom were loved by someone.

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Environment News Top Story

Your discarded carpet is poisoning the Earth with PFAS

New research shows very high levels of PFAS in construction and demolition landfills, jeopardizing groundwater When a building succumbs, by age or wind or water or fire, its innards have to go somewhere. Carpet, bricks, drywall, windows, shingles and siding, are hauled to a special type of landfill, known as construction and demolition, or C&D. New research published in the journal Waste Management this week reported that very high levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) have been found seeping from several C&D landfills in Florida, which has environmental and public health implications for North Carolina.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Shockingly large numbers” of positive virus tests found at troubled Orange County nursing home

The man, known in federal documents as Resident No. 1, was wearing his hospital gown, underwear and socks, lying on top of some rocks in a drainage ditch. The ditch had a small amount of water in it, and part of his gown was wet. About three feet away sat his shoes.  On a March morning a year ago, the sun was just coming up, and the man, with his arms folded across his chest, was looking up at the sky.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at what federal relief could mean to North Carolina workers

[Editor's note: This post has been updated to provide additional information regarding the eligibility of Social Security recipients for stimulus checks.] Some money is better than no money, but $1,200 doesn't go as far as some think it might: A month's rent, maybe. Less than a month's worth of child care for two kids. About two weeks' worth of groceries for a family of four. The $2 trillion bailout package, which includes help for major corporations, as well as small businesses, includes a one-time $1,200 payment for taxpayers.

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COVID-19 Environment News Top Story

As growing season commences, health pandemic raises big concerns for NC ag industry, farmworkers

The fields, rested over the winter and moistened by recent rains, are waiting and ready. Thousands of farmworkers, many on H2A visas from Mexico, have begun to arrive by bus, shoulder to shoulder, 40 at a time, to eastern North Carolina, like they do every year, to take on the backbreaking jobs that few other people want to do.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

As testing ramps up, state officials scramble to acquire medical supplies, address economic fallout

Semi-trucks carrying medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile rolled up to a Durham warehouse early this morning, as state leaders try to fill at least 2,000 requests for resources to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of North Carolina has ordered $46 million worth of medical supplies, said Mike Sprayberry, state director of Emergency Management, during an emergency Council of State meeting conducted today by telephone.

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COVID-19 Environment News Top Story

As NC restrictions grow to fight a pandemic, many local farmers’ markets left in limbo

Durham city and county officials have forced the popular Durham Farmers Market in Central Park to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, jeopardizing small farmers’ livelihoods just as the spring season begins. The Southern Durham Farmers Market on NC Highway 55 is also in limbo. The Durham Roots Farmers Market on West Main Street is not scheduled to open until April.

The Southern Durham Farmers Market on NC Highway 55 is also in limbo. The Durham Roots Farmers Market on West Main Street is not scheduled to open until April. Other markets at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, where students have been sent home for the semester, and in Hillsborough have also closed.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Life in COVID-19 quarantine: PW reporter provides a first-person account

My elbows were filthy. The outsides had been used to turn on light switches and turn off faucets, to latch bathroom stalls and open hotel doors. The insides had blunted sneezes and muffled coughs. I had been diligent, fervent even, about scrubbing and sanitizing my hands and all surfaces, using my elbows to fend off a viral invasion.

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Environment Top Story

New state report: The climate crisis is coming home to roost in NC

Hot days, warm nights. Heavy rains, no snow. A greater risk of wildfires and hurricanes, droughts and floods. Released this week, the 236-page North Carolina Climate Science Report paints a dim picture of the new normal that will likely unfold through the century’s end. “Even under a scenario where greenhouse gas emissions peak around 2050 and decline thereafter, North Carolina will experience substantial changes in climate,” the report reads.

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