Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Analysis of campaign finance reports: Ag, environmental interests spent generously in second half of 2017

Dominion Energy’s political action committee contributed more than $31,000 to state lawmakers in the final six months of 2017, most of it within 10 days of an override vote on Senate Bill 16. That measure, “Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2017,” contained a key provision for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The omnibus bill allows out-of-state companies, like Virginia-based Dominion, to use eminent domain to secure land to build pipelines.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Where to put NC’s coal ash? Court of Appeals asked to rule on legality of high-profile option

It has been nearly four years since Feb. 2, 2014, when 39,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons of contaminated water spilled from a failed impoundment at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden. And on Wednesday — Day 1,453 since the disaster that forever changed the state’s environmental landscape — a flight of lawyers appeared before a three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

...
Read more 2
Environment Top Story

Strange bedfellows? Polluters, environmental groups form new coalition to lobby state government

On a cozy autumn evening at the luxurious Umstead Hotel in Cary, a medley of corporate luminaries, state lawmakers and environmentalists made small talk and mingled over drinks. The occasion: the formation of a new “unconventional partnership” with a “bold mission.” North Carolina Forever, said Kathy Higgins, vice president of corporate affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield, “will bring together diverse interests” to encourage “reasonable and necessary investments” in land conservation and water protection.

...
Read more 4
Environment Top Story

Monday numbers

After President Trump announced he would open the entire US coast to offshore drilling – including areas like North Carolina that have long been off-limits -- governors up and down the Eastern Seaboard, immediately condemned the proposal.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

The environment in 2018: Forecasting the state policy debates for the coming year

Oh, Magic Eight Ball, will legislators step up in 2018 and pass meaningful laws to prevent contamination and to penalize polluters?

The House? Reply hazy, try again.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

The top 5 environmental stories of 2017 (plus the top quotes)

In 2017, North Carolinians eyed their glasses of water more carefully, breathed less deeply and waited not-so-patiently for Duke Energy and the industrialized swine farms to clean up their pollution. Here are the top five environmental stories of the year.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

Proposed secret chemical treatment of Jordan Lake could be dead in the water

This is the first of two stories about Jordan Lake. Tomorrow read about the UNC Collaboratory’s findings on algae and pollution in the reservoir. It seemed like a bad idea at the time. Now, confirming the concerns of ...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Stretched regulators to state lawmakers: We have no idea what’s in most closed NC landfills

Just south of Candler off the Pisgah Highway is a lovely piece of property on Little Piney Mountain Road. Wooded, with creeks nearby, it would be an idyllic retreat for those who love the bucolic hills and valleys of western North Carolina. Yet part of this same land was the site of the old Buncombe County Landfill, where before 1983, trash from the area was dumped into an open pit. In those days, there were no laws requiring landfills to be lined...

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

Pressure mounts on NC’s largest pork producer to clean up its act

Frenches Creek Finishing lies in the watery lowlands of Bladen County, near Lion Swamp, Conkill and Briary bays, and a chain of canals that drain toward the Cape Fear River and the sea.

Owned by Murphy-Brown, the farm, which includes a nursery, can house more than 17,000 hogs, including the newly weaned and those ready for slaughter. It is also one of 11 industrialized swine farms named in a 2006 federal consent decree because their operations threaten the quality of the groundwater.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

Atlantic Coast Pipeline sues NC landowners, asks federal court to allow “quick take” of properties

The Gardner farm in Wade, population 567, in Cumberland County has been in the family for more than 70 years. On these 960 acres, two generations of Gardners have raised grains, oats, barley, soybeans, and more recently, beef cattle. But the Gardner family is now among several defendants in a federal case involving the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

...
Read more 2
Environment Top Story

Lawmakers who slashed state environmental protection efforts weigh reversing course over GenX

Chemours has stopped discharging all wastewater from its manufacturing processes at its Fayetteville Works plant, a ban that will become permanent as a condition of the company’s new permit.

Assistant Secretary of the Environment Sheila Holman told the the House Select Committee on River Quality yesterday that department staff were visiting the plant to ensure the company complied with the order. The Department of Environmental Quality had taken enforcement action — a civil penalty should be announced by mid-December — because Chemours’s failed to report a spill of GenX for more than a month.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Coal ash debate takes center stage as Duke rate hike cases get underway

The Dobbs Building hearing room was so stuffed with dark suits and shiny calfskin shoes that it resembled a Brooks Brothers warehouse.

“Are there any North Carolina lawyers who aren’t here?” asked Ed Finley, chairman of the NC Utilities Commission, as he prepared to preside over what is predicted to be a two-week slog: the Duke Energy Progress rate case.

...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

Using biogas to clear the air near hog farms

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up

A blanket of gray hangs over the hills refracting the late July sun and sealing in a thick scent of gas and compost.

...
Read more 0
Environment Top Story

Neutering nuisance laws in North Carolina

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Environmental Health News. Tomorrow Elizabeth Ouzts reports on the possibilities of swine waste-to-energy projects.

Big hog producing states are chipping away at the last legal resorts for residents who feel they've been wronged ...
Read more 1
Environment Top Story

A DEQ mystery: Where in the world is Donald van der Vaart?

Donald van der Vaart and John Evans, formerly the top two officials at the NC Department of Environmental Quality under Gov. Pat McCrory, have been absent from their offices, and their job status is uncertain, sources have told Policy Watch.

...
Read more 3
Environment Top Story

An epic hearing over a proposed granite mine leads to a pivotal vote by Guilford County Commissioners

Kevin Cornell reached into a box and hoisted a rock the size of a toddler's head and placed it on the podium. "There was an explosion and a shockwave and rocks rained down," explained Cornell, who lives across the road from a Martin Marietta quarry.

...
Read more 1

Send this to a friend