Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Could defeat in nuisance lawsuits herald a reckoning for the NC hog industry?

In an extraordinary concurring opinion, a Reagan-appointed judge offers searing indictment of industrialized hog farming Shortly after Smithfield Foods lost its third consecutive hog nuisance case in federal court, company CEO Ken Sullivan wrote a letter.

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Environment News Top Story

Big Ag considers how a Biden administration could reverse four years of Trump’s damaging trade wars

Exports of dairy, pork, soybeans, even blueberries declined. What's in store for farmers under Biden? WASHINGTON — American farmers who have endured the drama and turbulence of trade and agriculture policy in the Trump administration can expect a far more sedate and multinational experience when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.

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COVID-19 Environment Top Story

COVID-19 quarantine creates record amounts of trash

Dan Parker wants to talk trash.  Actually, he’s been talking trash for more than six years. Parker’s job at Durham’s Solid Waste Management Department brings him up close to the discards and undesirables of the city’s residents. But the last seven months of the pandemic brought a load unlike any other for Parker and his team. 

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Environment News Top Story

Smithfield, Dominion propose major swine gas project, but details are secret, troubling residents

Public hearing on Align RNG air permit set for this afternoon

Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy plan to deploy 30 miles of underground pipeline in Sampson and Duplin counties, part of a controversial project to buy methane from area hog farms, then transport and sell the energy to major utilities.

In and of itself, decreasing methane emissions in the atmosphere isn’t controversial. Such reductions are key to curbing climate change because methane is even more potent in heating the planet than carbon dioxide. And the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requires investor-owned utilities to generate or buy a minute amount — just 0.02% — of their power from swine and poultry waste.

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Environment Top Story

Mother Nature chimes in as officials ponder controversial landfill proposal

A day of dangerous flooding underscores concerns of local residents regarding proposed Vance County facility The rain, curtains of it, had fallen in North Carolina all of Thursday. Relentless and unforgiving, floodwaters filled rivers and creeks, which broke their banks. It swept mud from hillsides, buckled roads, swallowed cars. It killed people in several counties.

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Environment Top Story

What the election results mean for environmental protection

Four experts reflect on what's likely to come next in Washington and Raleigh Not since before the Nixon administration, which created the EPA in 1970, have environmental protections been under such a sustained attack — an attack that threatens the planet's very habitability.

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Environment Top Story

Controversial plan would bring waste processing facilities to struggling southern NC community

Company proposes to process old railroad ties in low-income Richmond County locale already burdened by pollution Two industrial plants that would “cook” creosote-treated railroad ties and release tons of harmful air emissions are proposed for a predominantly low-income neighborhood near Hamlet, an area already burdened by pollution.

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Environment Top Story

Proposed new poultry farm in Chatham County: 750,000 birds, taxpayer-funded — and lots of secrets

Although not the farmer, Sen. Tom McInnis of Richmond County owns the land A proposed poultry farm near Goldston in Chatham County could raise nearly 750,000 birds each year near an important waterway, yet many of the details ...
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Environment Top Story

Vance County residents speak out in force against proposed landfill

In testimony, the facts didn't always add up to the truth

Kenneth Harrison III slouched in a hard wooden bench in a Vance County meeting room, the posture of a man who might have spent the day in the cab of a dump truck. He wore a mask bearing a print of the American flag.  His lawyer, Tom Terrell of Greensboro, well-known in North Carolina for representing mining companies, landfill operators and other industrial pariahs, looked fresh and spiffy in a dark suit and red tie, his silver hair curled over the white collar at the nape of his neck.

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Environment Top Story

How NC can tackle the climate crisis and address environmental justice

New, "must read" report details six ways to create safe, healthy communities and ensure access to clean, affordable energy A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) outlines how North Carolina can reduce the impact of climate change in a way that addresses systemic racism and environmental justice.

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Environment Top Story

Caswell County asked a mining attorney about its environmental ordinance. Now the commission could repeal it tomorrow.

Ordinance provides public with information on potential environmental impacts of polluting industries When Caswell County Commissioners were stumped on whether mining company Carolina Sunrock could legally sidestep a local moratorium on polluting industries, they decided to hire an ...
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Environment Top Story

Two weeks after Colonial Pipeline gasoline spill, Huntersville residents alarmed about ongoing lack of transparency

Town of Huntersville holding public meeting tonight to answer questions about the spill and the cleanup plan. In the early evening of Aug. 14, a person riding an ATV near the Oehler Nature Preserve in Huntersville saw a strange phenomenon: liquid gurgling from beneath the ground and spreading downhill.

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Environment Top Story

Trump’s EPA chief headlines GenX discussion in Fayetteville with distinctly partisan overtones

Mostly Republican pols invited to hear Andrew Wheeler issue an Apprentice-stye challenge for new chemical clean-up solutions North Carolina is now into Year 4 of its GenX crisis — nearing the equivalent of a presidential term — since the residents of Cumberland, Bladen, Brunswick and New Hanover counties learned their drinking water was contaminated with toxic GenX discharging from the Chemours plant upstream.

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: Herbicide-tainted compost plaguing NC farmers and gardeners

Yard waste, specifically illegally sprayed grass, is suspected as a source The tomatoes grew necks like gourds. The leaves of the purple cornflower, a favorite of butterflies, were twisted and deformed. More plants — cucumbers, peppers, green beans, even the majestic Roselle Hibiscus — began to wither and fail. Earlier this summer throughout central and western North Carolina, gardeners flooded their neighborhood listservs, county extension offices and garden stores with complaints: Something was killing their plants, en masse.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at NC’s waste stream and recycling efforts

In 1972, my family bought our first color TV, a 26-inch screen illuminated by cathode-ray tubes and encased in a behemoth cherry cabinet made by RCA that was roughly the size of a stove. But it was an upgrade from the 19-inch plastic black-and-white model on which we had watched Johnny Carson, Batman and Robin and the first moon landing, so my father’s near-hernia to haul in this exciting new piece of furniture was worth it.

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Environment Top Story

Promises, promises: 11 years after a federal agreement to stop GenX contamination, Chemours makes a similar promise to the state

The news sounded significant, if not groundbreaking: A 2019 state consent order was amended yesterday to force Chemours to stop 99% of GenX and PFAS contamination from entering the Cape Fear River, a drinking water source for hundreds of thousands of people downstream.

“This is a huge win for the Cape Fear River and the people who depend on it. This plan will ensure that contaminated groundwater, streams, and runoff no longer pollute the river and don’t reach communities downstream,” said Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper in a prepared statement.

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