Environment

Environment

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EPA officials get an earful at GenX hearing in Fayetteville

For the first 50-odd years of his life Rusty Goins was healthy and hale, a strapping man who never smoked or drank. Then shortly before last Christmas, he began bleeding. Several days later, when Goins woke up from surgery, he told EPA officials, the doctor had removed 30 inches of his colon and 18 lymph nodes. His right kidney, double its normal size, "was eaten up by cancer," he said.

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Local officials, residents deal setback to proposed coal ash storage site in Northampton County

The evening started well for Vista Green. Wood Beasley III tried to dazzle the Northampton County Planning Board with visions of jobs, tax revenue and the return of prodigal youth to an area that is aging and short on economic opportunity.

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Federal hog trial #3: New tactics, nauseating details highlight closing arguments

After a long day working with patients, all Joyce Messick wants is to lay her burdens down at her doorstep, sit on her porch and drink a Sun Drop. But the stench of hog feces sometimes denies her that simple pleasure and chases her inside. “You never know when it’s coming,” she testified in federal court last month.

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State Bureau of Investigation unit prepared “threat assessment” of Atlantic Coast Pipeline protestors

The state's surveillance and counter-terrorism unit, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC), warned law enforcement officials that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could attract "violent extremists" who are opposed to the natural gas project in North Carolina, a document obtained by Policy Watch shows.

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Three Guilford County schools test high for lead in drinking water; 1,500 students, many of them low-income, affected

Drinking water at three Guilford County schools, including two that predominantly enroll low-income children, tested at or above the EPA standard for lead, according to results released by the school district.

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PW exclusive: Beach nourishment bingo?

A North Carolina nonprofit with deep political connections received $5 million in the state budget for a beach nourishment study and design project, even though it has never done that type of work and is headquartered more than 250 miles from the coast.

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Duplin County official: Billy Houston hog lagoon matter prompts changes in outside employment policy

Billy Houston, who is under state investigation for allegedly falsified hog lagoon samples in Duplin and Sampson counties, has reportedly acknowledged wrongdoing, a county official told the state Soil and Water Conservation Commission this week. A technician with the Duplin County Soil and Water District since 1983, Houston had a side business...

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Powerful new hog trial testimony puts Smithfield back on the defensive

As a former police officer and firefighter, Wesley Sewell has encountered odors so putrid that they would make most people retch. He’s even ranked the smells.

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Monday numbers: The link between polluters and impoverished communities

Unless you’ve become lost or gone wandering, Hollister, N.C., population 674, in Halifax County is not a place that you merely happen upon. But the state Department of Environmental Quality intentionally chose a spot here among the tobacco ...
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Despite legislative wins, North Carolina pork giant loses again in court

Murphy-Brown had in its pocket 111 lawmakers who voted last week to all but end nuisance lawsuits against industrialized hog farms. But what the world’s largest pork producer didn’t have turned out to be as important: 12 jurors.

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PW exclusive: 25 years before SBI investigation, Duplin County was warned about Billy Houston’s consulting work

Duplin County officials knew 25 years ago that Billy Houston’s side job as an animal waste system consultant could pose problems for the Soil and Water Conservation District, documents obtained under the Public Records Act show.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at the proposed MVP Southgate pipeline

Packed houses are expected at two public meetings this week about a second proposed natural gas pipeline in North Carolina. MVP Southgate and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are holding events tonight in Burlington at the Palladium, 1272 Plaza Drive, from 5:30 to 7:30. The second meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Reidsville Event Center, 223 S. Scales St., also from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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Susan Wind had a reason to press state officials about a possible cancer cluster near Lake Norman. Her daughter had the disease.

The lump started small and hid behind her ear. Harmless, the doctor said, nothing to worry about.

So Taylor Wind, then 14, went about her business, attending high school, hanging out with friends and enjoying life in her neighborhood on the shores of Lake Norman in Iredell County.

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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.

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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 ...

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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.

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