Environment

Environment

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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Environment Top Story

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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Environment Top Story

Experts see a dire warning for North Carolina in new climate crisis numbers

State officials release "resilience plan," but political will remains in question In addition to deaths worldwide from COVID-19 and record unemployment, the globe surpassed another portentous record last month: The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest ever recorded — 417.1 parts per million, according to an announcement yesterday by NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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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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Environment Top Story

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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