Environment

Environment

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News analysis: Conservative lawmakers move to undermine NC environmental protection efforts

Of all the enemies to single out, conservative lawmakers have targeted nature — the wind, sun and trees — as a way to thwart the potential benefits of the governor’s executive order on climate change.

These four bills — and there are more — would essentially penalize Duke Energy ratepayers, buyers of low- or zero-emissions cars, birds, forests, current inhabitants of the planet and future generations, for political payback.

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The big Duke coal ash clean-up: Where things stand and what to expect next

Few people saw this coming. Duke Energy — whose corporate power touches the lives of every North Carolinian every day — whose outsized political influence exerts itself via hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions every election — whose former employees-turned-state-officials, ex-Gov. Pat McCrory, ex-State Rep. Mike Hager and...

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BREAKING: DEQ orders Duke Energy to excavate remaining coal ash impoundments

Duke Energy must excavate its final nine coal ash impoundments at six plants, state environmental regulators announced today, overruling the utility's concerns that the method would be too expensive and environmentally risky.

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Monday numbers – BYOB: Bring your own bag

China doesn’t want our trash, and the world is looking for somewhere else to dump it. After importing 760 million tons of plastic waste from the US alone in 2016, China banned 24 types of scrap waste from entering its borders last year, including most plastics and cardboard.

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Senators decry Trump administration’s ‘lack of urgency’ on PFAS like GenX

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration has failed to act swiftly enough to protect the public from harmful contaminants present in drinking water throughout the country, U.S. senators told senior administration officials Thursday.

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Senate committee deals another blow to controversial environmental nonprofit

The Resource Institute, a politically connected nonprofit that received a questionable and unprecedented $5 million appropriation for hurricane recovery in last year’s budget, could lose part of its windfall, according to a bill that passed out of the Senate Rules Committee today.

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Duke U. scientists to focus on radon, coal ash, flame retardants in Iredell thyroid cancer cluster probe

Something is changing the genetic code in the cells of young girls in Iredell County. Duke University scientists last night released preliminary findings of 18 months’ of study into potential causes of papillary thyroid cancer among teen girls, some as young as 13, in the ZIP codes of 28115 and 28117. Those areas include neighborhoods on or near Lake Norman.

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State review skewers work of well-connected environmental nonprofit

Fifty-one duplicate invoices. At least $20,000 in excess payments. And one nonprofit receiving a disproportionate amount of taxpayer dollars to broker stream restoration deals for private landowners in western North Carolina. The Resource Institute, based in Winston-Salem, was a subject of a months long investigation...

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North Carolina regulators detect toxic perfluorinated compound at Raleigh site

Rainwater monitoring conducted by state environmental regulators show one detection of a type of perfluorinated compound at the Raleigh monitoring site last spring. PFBA, a product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches and carpets, was found at a level of 7.4ppt during on May 29, 2018.

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RDU officials side with mining interests in clash over Umstead quarry

Umstead State Park in winter is at its least beautiful, but in no way is it ugly. Within the park’s palette of gray and rust appear plush pelts of moss in iridescent green and coarse crowns of lichens in dusty mint. Outcrops of ancient rocks, composed of minerals such as feldspar and quartz, are strewn across the forest floor like scattered teeth.

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Monday numbers – A closer look at North Carolina’s greenhouse gas emissions

This is how a decision made at the top reaches of the US government trickles down: The Trump administration’s proposal to roll back vehicle pollution standards could hamper North Carolina’s ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

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Ex-DEQ inspector says he shared DuPont pollution info with federal investigators

A former inspector with the state Division of Air Quality says he has shared agency information with federal investigators about contamination from DuPont’s Fayetteville Works plant from 15 years ago. Tom McKinney, who now works in the Division of Water Resources, said...

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EPA cites Chemours with multiple notices of violation; company allegedly failed to provide key documents

The EPA today announced it has issued a Notice of Violation to Chemours for failing to comply, on multiple occasions, with federal law at the company's plant in Fayetteville. According to EPA documents -- some of them heavily redacted -- obtained earlier today by Policy Watch, Chemours in Fayetteville failed to provide many key documents related to the import, processing, recycling/reclamation, and health and safety effects of GenX and other chemicals.

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Gov. Cooper to Congress: Our future depends on climate action

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday, urging Congress to step up the fight against climate change as Democrats move to elevate the polarizing problem into a key campaign issue in the 2020 elections.

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Critics to state regulators: Duke Energy must do much more to combat climate change

Since Colson Combs was born just over 15 years ago, the planet Earth has recorded more than 10 of its hottest years on record. If humans have not dialed back greenhouse gas emissions by the time Combs reaches his late 20s, the world will likely be headed toward a climate crisis that will stalk him for his entire life.

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“The spill was an instant disaster”: Reflections on the five-year anniversary of the Dan River coal ash breach

Until that winter’s day the 4-foot section of corrugated metal pipe, 48 inches in diameter, had done its job. It swallowed storm water, said to be uncontaminated, that drained from Duke Energy property, chugged the water through its gullet that ran beneath an unlined coal ash basin, and then spewed it into the Dan River near Eden. But on Feb. 2, 2014, the pipe could take no more.

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