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

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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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the Mountain Valley Pipeline (and the doublespeak regulators employ to describe its environmental impacts)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rarely met a pipeline it didn’t like, and the MVP Southgate project is no exception. In its 500-plus-page Final Environmental Impact Statement the commission determined that the 70-mile project — 48 miles of which will run through Rockingham and Alamance counties — won’t significantly impact the environment, as long as contractors properly mitigate the damage.

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Environment Top Story

A Superfund cleanup in Jacksonville failed. Without federal funding for a fix, contamination is spreading.

Beset by budget cuts, bankruptcies, legal disputes and broken equipment, the cleanup of the ABC Cleaners property has been further delayed. ABC Cleaners, a jumble of buildings with a warped vinyl facade and an American flag above the front door, sat across the boulevard from the Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, for nearly 50 years. In its heyday, in the 1960s and '70s, ABC did a bustling business. Its main clientele were Marines whose uniforms —black, gold-buttoned coats, azure trousers with a scarlet stripe on the outer seam — needed cleaning and pressing.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the huge cuts Trump proposes for the Environmental Protection Agency

A government budget not only details a state or nation’s financial priorities, but also serves as a moral compass. It reflects the budget-writers’ vision of equity and justice, of a fiduciary duty to all residents, not merely those with political, social and economic power. In the case of Trump administration, which last week released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021, the environmental message was clear...

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Environment Top Story

Duke Energy says it will fully excavate coal ash from unlined ponds, but that won’t fix the legacy of contamination

Tonight is the first public meeting on historic closure plans of Duke Energy's unlined coal ash basins. The modern history of Duke Energy in North Carolina pivots on a single day: Feb. 2, 2014. On that Sunday afternoon, a pipe collapsed at the utility's coal-fired power plant in Eden...

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