Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Industry bill to limit nuisance suits against hog operations nearing final passage

If it seemed impossible that neighbors of industrialized hog farms had any legal rights left to lose, a new version of the N.C. Farm Act strips those residents of any ability to sue industrialized hog farms for nuisance. After being amended six times Wednesday, the Farm Act, also known as Senate Bill 711, is on the verge of becoming law, even though several Republicans broke rank and opposed the measure.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

After court loss, N.C. pork producer turns to legislature for a win

Near the end of an hour-long debate on the Senate floor, Senator Brent Jackson sounded exasperated. "I shouldn't have to defend this dang bill," he said, his voice cracking as if he were leading a tent revival. "There's not a dang one of you all that has not eaten today or this week ...

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

State lawmakers moving suddenly and swiftly to shut down nuisance suits against industrial hog farms

As the second hog nuisance trial against Murphy-Brown enters another week of testimony in federal court, a few blocks away, Republican lawmakers, working at the behest of the state’s hog industry, are trying to stop these cases against the world’s largest pork producer from ever happening again.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Coincidence or collusion? NC Oil and Gas Commission receives curious requests to frack.

Friends, neighbors, colleagues of commission chairman Jim Womack submit nearly identical letters claiming Lee County drilling moratorium violates their rights

Earlier this month at a meeting of the state Oil and Gas Commission, Jim Womack, the agency's controversial chairman, seemed agitated, frantic even, to attend to what he deemed as Very Important Business: to hear from disgruntled people who want the commission to overturn Lee County's fracking moratorium.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Residents voice passionate opposition to proposed methyl bromide operation; regulators remain tight-lipped

Right now in Shenzhen, which, with 12 million people is the fastest-growing city in China, a young couple perhaps is touring a prospective new home, admiring its varnished ochre floors made from Southern yellow pine. They likely are unaware of the origin story of that pine.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: Unregistered agents pushing landowners to make way for proposed central NC gas pipeline

On a recent spring afternoon, Kelly and Daniel Bollinger were checking in on one of their fields, zigzagging on foot between furrows where Daniel had just planted pine seeds. “There’s one,” Daniel said, pointing to a finger-size conifer that had taken root and begun to grow.

...
Read more 2
Environment

Department of Labor records document dangerous conditions inside Chemours facility

Despite severe worker injuries in 2013 incident, Department of Labor fines were minimal On Halloween afternoon in 2013, a worker at DuPont's Fayetteville Works plant was replacing a valve in a room that produces membranes containing Nafion. This is the same perfluorinated compound that for years flowed through an illegal, unlined "Nafion ditch" from the facility into the Cape Fear River and downstream to Wilmington's drinking water supply.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: More bad news about methyl bromide

If Malec Brothers Transport, over vehement community opposition, does receive a state air permit to send methyl bromide into the air, the company would be the largest emitter of that highly toxic chemical in the state.

In fact, Malec Brothers's annual methyl bromide emissions -- in the tiny town of Delco, in Columbus County -- would be 33 to 40 times the total amount emitted statewide.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: Foreign company proposes to emit 140 tons of “super pollutant” each year in southeastern NC

Ashley Niquetta went to services last Sunday at Evergreen AME Zion Church in Delco -- the church she attended as a child -- and gave a talk about pollution. Not just any pollution, but the 140 tons of methyl bromide emissions that could be emitted into the air in around Delco, a hamlet in Columbus County, 18 miles west of Wilmington.

...
Read more 4
Environment Top Story

Attacking the messenger: GOP lawmakers unhappy with GenX reports from UNCW scientist, Cape Fear utility official

Several Republican lawmakers want to hear good news about GenX and emerging contaminants, even apparently, if it’s not true. At the House Select Committee on River Quality last week, Reps. Jimmy Dixon, Larry Yarborough, Scott Stone, and Pat McElraft assailed a UNC Wilmington scientist and the head of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, alleging they were intentionally emphasizing bad news about emerging contaminants, and were essentially failing to be cheerleaders for Chemours.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Proposed loosening of coal ash rules draws overwhelming opposition at EPA hearing

Clutching a toy panda bear for comfort, 8-year-old Alivia Hopkins had traveled from Illinois to stand atop this chair in the Washington Ballroom of the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Arlington, Va.

A Daisy Scout, Hopkins wore badges on her sash, tassels on her knee socks and a bow in her hair. Before a panel of three Environmental Protection Agency officials, she peered over the podium and delivered a speech, imploring them not to weaken federal coal ash rules.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

NC State scientists: GenX will be in Cape Fear River, tap water for years to come; health effects need more study

The Cape Fear River is damaged, contaminated by decades of human malfeasance, negligence and ignorance.

For those reasons, NC State University scientists told a crowd of 75 New Hanover County residents last night, it will be years before their tap water is completely free of GenX and other fluorinated compounds.

...
Read more 2
Environment

DEQ, Duke agree on (small) penalty for illegal leaks from coal ash basins

Duke Energy has been fined $156,000 for 21 illegal seeps from coal ash basins at its Allen, Marshall and Cliffside/Rogers plants, according to a Special Order of Consent unanimously approved by the Environmental Management Commission today.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

You can’t photograph a smell: Lawyers, witnesses debate hog farm stench at Smithfield nuisance trial

There were no scratch ’n’ sniff cards. No fetid fragrance strips like those frequently found in fashion magazines. No pictures of the stench, since it’s impossible to photograph a smell.

Yet in federal court this week, plaintiffs’ attorneys began their task of convincing a jury that the rancid odor of feces and urine emanating from an industrialized swine farm is not merely annoying. Rather, for the 10 plaintiffs who live within a mile of the farm in Bladen County, these intrusions meet the legal definition of a nuisance: an “excessive or unreasonable” impediment to the enjoyment of their private property.

...
Read more 4
Environment Top Story

Carcinogens, other contaminants found near Roxboro and Sutton coal ash sites as EPA looks to weaken rules

Policy Watch recently reviewed more than 20,000 pages of data for a series of stories about groundwater contamination in wells around Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds: Marshall, Cliffside, Allen, Buck and Dan River. This is the final installment in the series, which covers Sutton and Roxboro in context of the recent announcement of proposed changes to coal ash rules by the EPA.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Chemical contamination detected in Durham drinking water; new statewide monitoring system proposed

In early spring, Lake Michie stirs to life, with fishers and the Duke University women’s rowing team taking to the water at dawn. The 480-acre reservoir near Bahama is not only a source of largemouth bass, but it is also a boating destination, and it provides Durham with 30 million to 35 million gallons of drinking water each day.

...
Read more 0

Send this to a friend