Environment

Environment

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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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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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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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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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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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Environment Top Story

BREAKING: DEQ denies key permits for MVP Southgate natural gas pipeline

Division of Water Resources cites doubts about MVP Mainline project, says construction in NC could cause "unnecessary water quality impacts" Another natural gas pipeline in North Carolina has been derailed, at least temporarily, as the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has denied a water quality permit for the MVP Southgate project that would route through Rockingham and Alamance counties.

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Along now-defunct Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, landowners are left in the lurch

Environmental destruction, property entanglements will take years to address

Behind a black wooden farm gate, near Wade in Cumberland County, used to lie a meadow. Serene, tree-lined, it was a spot of utopia where Donovan McLaurin had planned to build a small house for himself.

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PW special report part two: Lax local regulation allows toxic carcinogen to infiltrate drinking water across the Cape Fear River Basin

It took a little more than two weeks for the wastewater contaminated with the toxic chemical 1,4-Dioxane to travel the 50 miles from Greensboro to Pittsboro. On Aug. 23, 2019, thousands of taps in the small Chatham County town flowed with water containing levels of the compound up to 300 times greater than the health goal set by the EPA.

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PW special report: While toxic chemical polluted Cape Fear River Basin, some utilities officials dismissed public health risk

One Greensboro official falsely accused scientist of scaring public for private gain; Reidsville sought help from Sen. Berger’s office

On the cloudy, muggy morning of Aug. 7, 2019, William Burdick, an industrial compliance specialist for the City of Greensboro, dipped several empty vials into the wastewater at the TZ Osborne treatment plant. He sealed the vials, packed them in a cooler on ice, and waited for Pace Labs to retrieve them for analysis.

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Environment News Top Story

Tillis votes down amendment targeting toxic PFAS chemicals; cites “jurisdictional” issues

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis backs legislation that would declare a widespread class of toxic substances as hazardous under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but he recently opposed a similar effort that would only apply to the U.S. Department of Defense. Tillis, a freshman Republican who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted against an amendment to a defense policy bill last month that would have...

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: The death of a pipeline

After years of effort, opponents of the cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline celebrate, reflect and look to the future Belinda Joyner had returned from Sunday church and was settling in for the afternoon when she heard the news. “Is this real?” Joyner asked her friend, who sent an email with the official announcement. “Yes,” her friend replied.

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Environment Top Story

New research confirms presence of toxic “forever chemicals” in scores of NC water supplies

GenX study shows contamination in 80% of wells tested; mice studies show liver damage from Nafion Byproduct 2 Raw water supplies for at least 169 public utilities in North Carolina contained some level of toxic PFAS, underscoring the call by scientists to regulate the 5,000-plus perfluorinated compounds as a class and and amplifying new science showing their detrimental health effects on humans.

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Trump administration overrules NC, approves offshore seismic testing for oil and gas deposits

Buffeted by breaking waves and a brisk ocean breeze, the town of Rodanthe balances on a precarious shard of land along the Outer Banks. From here, the eastern-most point in North Carolina, it is less than 45 miles to an expanse of the sea where energy corporations plan to puncture the ocean bed in search of oil and gas.

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Environment Top Story

Federal court strikes down NC’s controversial “ag-gag” law

Surprise ruling validates the First Amendment rights of reporters, whistleblowers In a stunning decision, a federal court judge has struck down North Carolina’s “ag-gag law,” ruling that several of its provisions are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment.

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Environment Top Story

NCDOT apologizes to Durham leaders for failing to inform them about proposed Dominion pipeline along American Tobacco Trail

Yet a mid-level Durham employee knew about the proposal in 2018 but never informed city leaders. The state Department of Transportation apologized to Triangle government officials today for failing to inform them of a proposal to build a natural gas pipeline along part of the American Tobacco Trail, one of the premier recreational destinations in the region.

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