Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Legislators renew bipartisan push for DHHS study of potential cancer clusters

Mysterious cases of rare cancers have baffled North Carolina health officials, but incomplete data, inadequate surveillance and insufficient staff have hampered their ability to investigate suspected cancer clusters. Those conclusions and possible solutions, recently issued by a Cancer Research Advisory Panel, have been incorporated into two bills introduced by lawmakers last week.

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Environment Top Story

Nearly a billion birds producing five million tons of waste per year

NC's fast-growing and lightly-regulated poultry industry is a big and problematic source of pollution As Katy Langley Hunt flies in a plane above the green and brown patches of farmland in eastern North Carolina, she often points out the new poultry farms that seem to pop up overnight.

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Environment Top Story

Will state and county officials approve proposed bridge over troubled water?

Company proposing controversial Wake quarry wants to build truck bridge over polluted creek; environmental advocates seek a public hearing Wake Stone, the company behind a controversial quarry expansion next to Umstead State Park, has significantly changed its mining permit application to include a bridge over Crabtree Creek, a troubled tributary of the Neuse River.

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PW investigates: Lack of transparency, scrutiny involving state agency’s Pesticide Section

North Carolina's dated and weak pesticide regulations do little to discourage the misuse of dangerous chemicals A few hours before dawn one March morning in 2013, Johnathan Covington woke to find his young daughter on the couch, crying. The night prior, an acrid smell had begun infiltrating the family home. Covington’s daughter said her eyes hurt and she couldn’t sleep.

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Environment News Top Story

Waiting to exhale: Controversial wood pellet plant would burden Lumberton with more pollution

Wood pellet manufacturer would bring a handful of jobs and lots of new pollution to Robeson County The picnic tables at Alamac Community Park are ideal for watching log trucks yaw into the entrance of an old textile factory in Lumberton. The swings, slide and basketball court command a view of the grim and monolithic building, flanked by a dilapidated guard shack and in back, a smoke stack that pokes a hole in the sky.

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Environment News Top Story

Your discarded carpet is poisoning the Earth with PFAS

New research shows very high levels of PFAS in construction and demolition landfills, jeopardizing groundwater When a building succumbs, by age or wind or water or fire, its innards have to go somewhere. Carpet, bricks, drywall, windows, shingles and siding, are hauled to a special type of landfill, known as construction and demolition, or C&D. New research published in the journal Waste Management this week reported that very high levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) have been found seeping from several C&D landfills in Florida, which has environmental and public health implications for North Carolina.

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Environment News Top Story

DEQ rejects Chemours’ proposed GenX groundwater cleanup plan

Company now says it’s too expensive to remove PFAS compounds, including GenX, to comply with consent order

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has rejected a groundwater cleanup plan proposed by Chemours, which would have left at least 70 square miles contaminated with the chemical GenX.

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COVID-19 Environment News Top Story

As growing season commences, health pandemic raises big concerns for NC ag industry, farmworkers

The fields, rested over the winter and moistened by recent rains, are waiting and ready. Thousands of farmworkers, many on H2A visas from Mexico, have begun to arrive by bus, shoulder to shoulder, 40 at a time, to eastern North Carolina, like they do every year, to take on the backbreaking jobs that few other people want to do.

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COVID-19 Environment News Top Story

As NC restrictions grow to fight a pandemic, many local farmers’ markets left in limbo

Durham city and county officials have forced the popular Durham Farmers Market in Central Park to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, jeopardizing small farmers’ livelihoods just as the spring season begins. The Southern Durham Farmers Market on NC Highway 55 is also in limbo. The Durham Roots Farmers Market on West Main Street is not scheduled to open until April.

The Southern Durham Farmers Market on NC Highway 55 is also in limbo. The Durham Roots Farmers Market on West Main Street is not scheduled to open until April. Other markets at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, where students have been sent home for the semester, and in Hillsborough have also closed.

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Environment Top Story

New state report: The climate crisis is coming home to roost in NC

Hot days, warm nights. Heavy rains, no snow. A greater risk of wildfires and hurricanes, droughts and floods. Released this week, the 236-page North Carolina Climate Science Report paints a dim picture of the new normal that will likely unfold through the century’s end. “Even under a scenario where greenhouse gas emissions peak around 2050 and decline thereafter, North Carolina will experience substantial changes in climate,” the report reads.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the Mountain Valley Pipeline (and the doublespeak regulators employ to describe its environmental impacts)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rarely met a pipeline it didn’t like, and the MVP Southgate project is no exception. In its 500-plus-page Final Environmental Impact Statement the commission determined that the 70-mile project — 48 miles of which will run through Rockingham and Alamance counties — won’t significantly impact the environment, as long as contractors properly mitigate the damage.

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Environment Top Story

A Superfund cleanup in Jacksonville failed. Without federal funding for a fix, contamination is spreading.

Beset by budget cuts, bankruptcies, legal disputes and broken equipment, the cleanup of the ABC Cleaners property has been further delayed. ABC Cleaners, a jumble of buildings with a warped vinyl facade and an American flag above the front door, sat across the boulevard from the Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, for nearly 50 years. In its heyday, in the 1960s and '70s, ABC did a bustling business. Its main clientele were Marines whose uniforms —black, gold-buttoned coats, azure trousers with a scarlet stripe on the outer seam — needed cleaning and pressing.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the huge cuts Trump proposes for the Environmental Protection Agency

A government budget not only details a state or nation’s financial priorities, but also serves as a moral compass. It reflects the budget-writers’ vision of equity and justice, of a fiduciary duty to all residents, not merely those with political, social and economic power. In the case of Trump administration, which last week released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021, the environmental message was clear...

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Environment Top Story

Duke Energy says it will fully excavate coal ash from unlined ponds, but that won’t fix the legacy of contamination

Tonight is the first public meeting on historic closure plans of Duke Energy's unlined coal ash basins. The modern history of Duke Energy in North Carolina pivots on a single day: Feb. 2, 2014. On that Sunday afternoon, a pipe collapsed at the utility's coal-fired power plant in Eden...

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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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