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.
[email protected]
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Lisa Sorg's articles and posts

Environment Top Story

A federal appeals court judge’s remarkable speech is the latest surprise in NC’s hog nuisance lawsuits

Last Friday morning in Richmond, Va., midway through oral arguments in the hog nuisance case of McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III removed his glasses and briefly rested his cheek on his hand, as if burdened by the content of thousands of pages of case documents he had read.

“What troubled me...

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at Duke Energy Carolinas’ proposed rate hike

Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC has filed an application with the Utilities Commission requesting authority to raise its rates for electric service. For a residential electric customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, the current monthly bill of $102.71 would increase to $108.43 under Duke’s proposal.

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Environment Top Story

Environmental groups, scientists say DEQ’s air monitoring program fails the sniff test

Because DEQ limited air monitor sites to meet EPA criteria, they were too far from hog farms to accurately measure their emissions. When state environmental officials agreed to a historic civil rights settlement two years ago, neighbors of industrial hog operations hoped that their misery — detailed in court under oath but discounted by the pork industry, their lawyers and several legislators — would be further confirmed by data. 

When state environmental officials agreed to a historic civil rights settlement two years ago, neighbors of industrial hog operations hoped that their misery /p> ...

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Environment Top Story

Surveys, interviews: Responses of Chemours and DHHS to Gen X and PFAS pollution falling short

Last summer, Chemours sent contractors to the Cumberland County home of Katrina Rubiera and tested her drinking water. Shortly afterward, the first shipment of bottled water arrived. “Our well water tested positive for, well, I’m not sure, because I still don’t have my test results,” Rubiera told Policy Watch last week via email.

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Environment Top Story

Pipelines, roads and railways: This is why you should care about Trump’s rollback of NEPA, a key environmental law

By the time the new Interstate 885 opens in Durham later this year, some of the people who conceived of the original project will have been long dead. In the works for 60 years, the East End Connector, as Durhamites call it, funnels traffic over four miles from NC 147 to US 70 and onto I-85, to reduce congestion on surface streets.

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Environment Top Story

What to do about pollution from “forever chemicals”?

State and federal officials are starting to act, but proposed rules and standards take time and vary widely Toxic PFAS — perfluorinated compounds — are known as “forever chemicals” because they persist in the human body and the environment for decades, if not hundreds of years.    It also takes forever to pass permanent environmental standards regulating them.

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Environment Top Story

DEQ, Duke Energy, community groups strike deal on largest coal ash cleanup in US

In an historic agreement, Duke Energy will remove coal ash from unlined pits at its six plants – Allen, Belews Creek, Cliffside/Rogers, Marshall, Mayo and Roxboro – which will finally cut off this source of groundwater and surface water contamination near those communities. The NC Department of Environmental Quality, Duke Energy and the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represented community groups in litigation against the utility, all announced the details of the settlement today.

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Environment Top Story

From climate change to coal ash: Five environmental stories to follow in the New Year

Remember 350 parts per million? In 2008, author Bill McKibben christened his environmental group 350.org because 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide was thought to be the limit of the "safe" amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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Environment Top Story

They persisted: It wasn’t easy, but in 2019 local communities scored environmental victories

2019 was the year of planetary grief: The Trump administration's drumbeat of environmental rollbacks – at last count 80-plus. Melting sea ice and the attendant rising ocean levels; the very real threat of species extinction; extreme weather, like Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the Outer Banks.

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Environment Top Story

PW special report: Residents of NC town long treated as a massive waste dump demand action

Alcoa Corporation polluted the Stanly County town of West Badin with toxic chemicals for decades. Now, the people living there want action. Macy Hinson was raised in a small house that rested at the foot of a short hill at 415 Lee Street, 100 yards from an unlined pit where aluminum titan Alcoa disgorged its hazardous waste.

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