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 Top Story

Senator Brent Jackson walks back part of controversial Farm Act that would have shielded employers from retaliation claims

An overlooked section of the 2021 Farm Act, which is currently under consideration at the General Assembly, would have undercut North Carolina workers’ ability to sue their employers for retaliation, a potential benefit for Sen. Brent Jackson, a primary bill sponsor and previous subject of these complaints.

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Environment Top Story

Hear no evil, see no evil? Senate committee limits public comments on controversial farm bill that would limit public comments

A Senate committee on Wednesday shut down public discussion of a contentious portion of the Farm Act, which coincidentally, sharply curbs public input on swine farms that install biogas systems and anaerobic digesters. The hog and energy industries support biogas, arguing the systems help alleviate climate change by capturing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, that would otherwise be released into the air.

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Environment Top Story

Senate committee holds hostile confirmation hearing for Cooper DEQ nominee

And it's not over; hearing to be continued. Not until Minute 100 of a 120-minute confirmation hearing for Secretary of the Environment nominee Dionne Delli-Gatti did any lawmaker speak the words “environmental justice.” Even then, the context for the comment was not one of concern for communities of color and low-income neighborhoods who are disproportionately burdened by polluting industries.

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Environment News Top Story

PW special report: The great methane debate and what it could mean for North Carolina

Environmental advocates want stronger regulation of the potent greenhouse gas, but Ag and energy interests are touting biogas

More than 2,200 industrialized hog farms and another 200-plus dairy operations in North Carolina are constantly belching untold amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, into the air.

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Environment News Top Story

Tired of fighting opponents of a proposed mine and asphalt plants, Carolina Sunrock decides to sue

Fifty-eight defendants named in legal complaint filed in Caswell County Opponents of two asphalt plants and a 426-acre mine proposed for Caswell County have been so successful in stymieing the projects that the company behind the proposals is now taking the residents to court.

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Environment Top Story

Converting hog waste into energy: Not as neat and simple as it might sound

Public comment period ends Sunday on Optima TH's air pollution permit for facility at Smithfield slaughterhouse   Optima TH has applied for a state air quality permit to operate a major biogas facility at Smithfield Fresh Meats in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel. If approved, Optima TH could emit 24,500 to 40,800 tons of greenhouse gases each year.

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Environment News Top Story

Mystery deepens over origin of dangerous chemicals found at massive gasoline spill

Colonial Pipeline's own tests indicate high levels of PFAS that could be linked to clean-up efforts, but state regulators say they need more data Mysterious discrepancies in test results between Colonial Pipeline and the NC Department of Environmental Quality have raised questions about the origin of toxic perfluorinated compounds — PFAS — found in material used at a major gasoline spill in Huntersville.

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News Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at Gov. Cooper’s budget

Gov. Roy Cooper's $27 billion budget for the next two years touches every segment of state government, both the seen and the unseen. We notice if  there are too few nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers in public schools ($80 million to increase the number); if there are inequities in the quality of public libraries ($1 million to standardize service); and if highway medians are overgrown or strewn with trash ($1 million for litter cleanup).

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A sobering look at the hate crimes that have targeted Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Spat upon, assaulted, harassed: The pandemic helps spawn an epidemic of hatred and violence During the first nine months of pandemic, when former President Donald Trump chose to inaccurately call the coronavirus the "China virus," he fomented, if not tacitly sanctioned animosity and discrimination toward people of Asian descent.

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Environment Top Story

Natural gas gets a pass in new bill to further curb local government authority

A bill before the legislature would give preferential treatment to the natural gas industry, which has embarked on a nationwide push to force local governments to keep using the fossil fuel. House Bill 220 would prohibit cities and counties in North Carolina from adopting ordinances to limit the expansion of (or connections to) natural gas service. The measure's primary sponsors are Reps. Dean Arp, John Szoka, Charles Miller and Jason Saine, all Republicans.

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