Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Gov. Cooper to Congress: Our future depends on climate action

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday, urging Congress to step up the fight against climate change as Democrats move to elevate the polarizing problem into a key campaign issue in the 2020 elections.

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Critics to state regulators: Duke Energy must do much more to combat climate change

Since Colson Combs was born just over 15 years ago, the planet Earth has recorded more than 10 of its hottest years on record. If humans have not dialed back greenhouse gas emissions by the time Combs reaches his late 20s, the world will likely be headed toward a climate crisis that will stalk him for his entire life.

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Environment Top Story

“The spill was an instant disaster”: Reflections on the five-year anniversary of the Dan River coal ash breach

Until that winter’s day the 4-foot section of corrugated metal pipe, 48 inches in diameter, had done its job. It swallowed storm water, said to be uncontaminated, that drained from Duke Energy property, chugged the water through its gullet that ran beneath an unlined coal ash basin, and then spewed it into the Dan River near Eden. But on Feb. 2, 2014, the pipe could take no more.

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Environment

BREAKING: Malec Brothers withdraws air permit application to use methyl bromide

Malec Brothers has formally withdrawn its application for an air permit to emit methyl bromide in Columbus County, the NC Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday afternoon. The Australian company had planned to emit up to 140 tons ...
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Environment

Document reveals effort to remove opposition of Native American tribes to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

[Editor’s note: The original version of this story contained some important and inadvertent factual errors that NC Policy Watch deeply regrets. The first error stated, incorrectly, that the law firm Cultural Heritage Partners acted on behalf of Dominion ...
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Chemours says it’s been “re-importing” GenX waste from Netherlands to Fayetteville plant for five years

Chemours has “historically recycled” GenX waste at its Fayetteville Works plant that originated from the company’s facility in Dordrecht, Netherlands, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday. The purpose of exporting the material “is to reduce that quantity that is emitted ...
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Environment Top Story

Lake Norman-area residents to DEQ: Duke coal ash must go

Sheila Holman, assistant secretary of the the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, who often seems to draw the short straw when chosen to lead a public meeting, took a poll of the residents who had filled the Sherrills Ford Elementary School gymnasium to its 452-person capacity.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers – a closer look at private drinking water wells post-Florence

Many Robeson County residents have drinking water that is more acidic than strong black coffee, while a smaller number of private wells water contained higher than recommended levels of Chromium 6 or lead.

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Environment Top Story

5 takeaways from Gov. Cooper’s document dump about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Gov. Roy Cooper's office did coordinate with state environmental officials on the timing of a key water quality permit approval and a controversial $57.8 million deal with Dominion Energy over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

But a Policy Watch review of more than 19,000 pages of public records found no evidence that the voluntary fund, outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding between Cooper's office and Dominion, explicitly greased the way for project to proceed. Republican lawmakers have repeatedly alleged that the permit approval was contingent upon Dominion ponying up $57.8 million for a voluntary economic development fund. Both the approval and the fund were announced on the same day, Jan. 26, 2018, just 23 minutes apart.

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Environment Top Story

The war on the environment in 2018: Five stories that mattered

2018 will go down as the Year of So Much Winning. When the smoke clears from the manufactured border crisis, foreign policy SNAFUs, financial meltdowns, presidential Twitter tantrums, and other mind-boggling behavior from the executive branch, we can also see an EPA in complete disarray...

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Meeting Gov. Cooper’s climate change mandate will take more than just turning out the lights. It will require a new way of thinking.

About five years ago, before the public widely knew that the world's greenhouse gas emissions were tipping the climate over the point of no return, Alex Johnson, Durham's urban forester, was weighing what trees to plant to replace the mass die-off of the city's willow oaks.

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Environment Top Story

What’s in the water?

A civil rights settlement forced DEQ to sample Duplin County waterways for pollution. The hard part is pinpointing the source.

Stocking Head Creek was up, licking the bottom of the bridge on NC Highway 50. An inch and a quarter of rain had fallen in the past two days, and the high water, the color of umber, scaled tree trunks and inundated swamps. At the storm's peak, the creek must have reached the road, because the grass along the shoulder was combed over and had yet to stand back up.

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Environment Top Story

Trump administration proposal likely to have devastating impact on NC wetlands

They could be paved, mined, jammed with concrete, filled with pollutants like GenX or coal ash: More than half of North Carolina’s — and the nation’s — wetlands and streams could be destroyed and their downstream communities — both human and nonhuman — harmed because of a proposed rollback of a cornerstone of the Clean Water Act.

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Environment Top Story

The case against Murphy-Brown: Inside North Carolina’s latest blockbuster hog trial

Shortly after 10 o’clock yesterday morning, a federal jury in the hog nuisance case Gillis vs. Murphy-Brown delivered the news: Hung. After a fortnight of patiently listening to plaintiffs’ and defendants’ testimony, and two days of deliberation, the panel of eight women and two men declared they were deadlocked...

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: Debunking the EPA’s clean coal balderdash

Global carbon dioxide emissions are predicted to hit a record high this year, yet the Trump administration plans to eliminate a cap on the amount of the greenhouse gas new US coal-fired power plants can emit.

Last Thursday, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler...

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Environment Top Story

Hog trial drama: Defense attorney invokes Clint Eastwood, implies plaintiffs are liars in closing argument

Midway through Robert Thaxton’s closing arguments in the recent hog nuisance trial, the attorney for Smithfield Foods displayed a photo of a movie poster for Pale Rider, a 1985 Western starring Clint Eastwood. In the film, a mysterious justice-seeking preacher played by Eastwood tries...

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