Environment

Environment

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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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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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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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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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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Environmental groups, scientists say DEQ’s air monitoring program fails the sniff test

Because DEQ limited air monitor sites to meet EPA criteria, they were too far from hog farms to accurately measure their emissions. When state environmental officials agreed to a historic civil rights settlement two years ago, neighbors of industrial hog operations hoped that their misery — detailed in court under oath but discounted by the pork industry, their lawyers and several legislators — would be further confirmed by data. 

When state environmental officials agreed to a historic civil rights settlement two years ago, neighbors of industrial hog operations hoped that their misery /p> ...

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Surveys, interviews: Responses of Chemours and DHHS to Gen X and PFAS pollution falling short

Last summer, Chemours sent contractors to the Cumberland County home of Katrina Rubiera and tested her drinking water. Shortly afterward, the first shipment of bottled water arrived. “Our well water tested positive for, well, I’m not sure, because I still don’t have my test results,” Rubiera told Policy Watch last week via email.

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Pipelines, roads and railways: This is why you should care about Trump’s rollback of NEPA, a key environmental law

By the time the new Interstate 885 opens in Durham later this year, some of the people who conceived of the original project will have been long dead. In the works for 60 years, the East End Connector, as Durhamites call it, funnels traffic over four miles from NC 147 to US 70 and onto I-85, to reduce congestion on surface streets.

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What to do about pollution from “forever chemicals”?

State and federal officials are starting to act, but proposed rules and standards take time and vary widely Toxic PFAS — perfluorinated compounds — are known as “forever chemicals” because they persist in the human body and the environment for decades, if not hundreds of years.    It also takes forever to pass permanent environmental standards regulating them.

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DEQ, Duke Energy, community groups strike deal on largest coal ash cleanup in US

In an historic agreement, Duke Energy will remove coal ash from unlined pits at its six plants – Allen, Belews Creek, Cliffside/Rogers, Marshall, Mayo and Roxboro – which will finally cut off this source of groundwater and surface water contamination near those communities. The NC Department of Environmental Quality, Duke Energy and the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represented community groups in litigation against the utility, all announced the details of the settlement today.

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From climate change to coal ash: Five environmental stories to follow in the New Year

Remember 350 parts per million? In 2008, author Bill McKibben christened his environmental group 350.org because 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide was thought to be the limit of the "safe" amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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They persisted: It wasn’t easy, but in 2019 local communities scored environmental victories

2019 was the year of planetary grief: The Trump administration's drumbeat of environmental rollbacks – at last count 80-plus. Melting sea ice and the attendant rising ocean levels; the very real threat of species extinction; extreme weather, like Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the Outer Banks.

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PW special report: Residents of NC town long treated as a massive waste dump demand action

Alcoa Corporation polluted the Stanly County town of West Badin with toxic chemicals for decades. Now, the people living there want action. Macy Hinson was raised in a small house that rested at the foot of a short hill at 415 Lee Street, 100 yards from an unlined pit where aluminum titan Alcoa disgorged its hazardous waste.

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Low levels of 16 types of “forever chemicals” — PFAS — found in New Hanover County compost

Since PFAS are unregulated, no public notification is required.

Food packaging could be a source of perfluorinated compounds detected in compost produced by New Hanover County. 

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Monday numbers: Rate of complaint-driven inspections of industrialized livestock operations second-highest in 10 years

Stench and flies. Noise and traffic. Waste flowing into waterways. Manure-infused spray. Complaints about industrialized livestock farms prompted the NC Department of Environmental Quality to inspect those facilities at the second-highest rate in 10 years, according to a report recently submitted to the legislative Environment Review Commission.

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An infant’s gravesite, environmental concerns could put proposed Caswell County mining operation on the rocks

In addition to historic cemeteries and archaeological resources, state is concerned about asbestos, drinking water pollution  Rubbie Francis Wade entered this world in 1921. She left it eight months later, in the summer of 1922. A descendant of the enslaved, Rubbie was not considered by whites important enough to document.

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