Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Federal hog trial #3: New tactics, nauseating details highlight closing arguments

After a long day working with patients, all Joyce Messick wants is to lay her burdens down at her doorstep, sit on her porch and drink a Sun Drop. But the stench of hog feces sometimes denies her that simple pleasure and chases her inside. “You never know when it’s coming,” she testified in federal court last month.

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State Bureau of Investigation unit prepared “threat assessment” of Atlantic Coast Pipeline protestors

The state's surveillance and counter-terrorism unit, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC), warned law enforcement officials that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could attract "violent extremists" who are opposed to the natural gas project in North Carolina, a document obtained by Policy Watch shows.

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Three Guilford County schools test high for lead in drinking water; 1,500 students, many of them low-income, affected

Drinking water at three Guilford County schools, including two that predominantly enroll low-income children, tested at or above the EPA standard for lead, according to results released by the school district.

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PW exclusive: Beach nourishment bingo?

A North Carolina nonprofit with deep political connections received $5 million in the state budget for a beach nourishment study and design project, even though it has never done that type of work and is headquartered more than 250 miles from the coast.

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Duplin County official: Billy Houston hog lagoon matter prompts changes in outside employment policy

Billy Houston, who is under state investigation for allegedly falsified hog lagoon samples in Duplin and Sampson counties, has reportedly acknowledged wrongdoing, a county official told the state Soil and Water Conservation Commission this week. A technician with the Duplin County Soil and Water District since 1983, Houston had a side business...

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Powerful new hog trial testimony puts Smithfield back on the defensive

As a former police officer and firefighter, Wesley Sewell has encountered odors so putrid that they would make most people retch. He’s even ranked the smells.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: The link between polluters and impoverished communities

Unless you’ve become lost or gone wandering, Hollister, N.C., population 674, in Halifax County is not a place that you merely happen upon. But the state Department of Environmental Quality intentionally chose a spot here among the tobacco ...
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Environment Top Story

Despite legislative wins, North Carolina pork giant loses again in court

Murphy-Brown had in its pocket 111 lawmakers who voted last week to all but end nuisance lawsuits against industrialized hog farms. But what the world’s largest pork producer didn’t have turned out to be as important: 12 jurors.

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PW exclusive: 25 years before SBI investigation, Duplin County was warned about Billy Houston’s consulting work

Duplin County officials knew 25 years ago that Billy Houston’s side job as an animal waste system consultant could pose problems for the Soil and Water Conservation District, documents obtained under the Public Records Act show.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the proposed MVP Southgate pipeline

Packed houses are expected at two public meetings this week about a second proposed natural gas pipeline in North Carolina. MVP Southgate and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are holding events tonight in Burlington at the Palladium, 1272 Plaza Drive, from 5:30 to 7:30. The second meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Reidsville Event Center, 223 S. Scales St., also from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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Environment Top Story

Susan Wind had a reason to press state officials about a possible cancer cluster near Lake Norman. Her daughter had the disease.

The lump started small and hid behind her ear. Harmless, the doctor said, nothing to worry about.

So Taylor Wind, then 14, went about her business, attending high school, hanging out with friends and enjoying life in her neighborhood on the shores of Lake Norman in Iredell County.

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Industry bill to limit nuisance suits against hog operations nearing final passage

If it seemed impossible that neighbors of industrialized hog farms had any legal rights left to lose, a new version of the N.C. Farm Act strips those residents of any ability to sue industrialized hog farms for nuisance. After being amended six times Wednesday, the Farm Act, also known as Senate Bill 711, is on the verge of becoming law, even though several Republicans broke rank and opposed the measure.

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After court loss, N.C. pork producer turns to legislature for a win

Near the end of an hour-long debate on the Senate floor, Senator Brent Jackson sounded exasperated. "I shouldn't have to defend this dang bill," he said, his voice cracking as if he were leading a tent revival. "There's not a dang one of you all that has not eaten today or this week ...

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State lawmakers moving suddenly and swiftly to shut down nuisance suits against industrial hog farms

As the second hog nuisance trial against Murphy-Brown enters another week of testimony in federal court, a few blocks away, Republican lawmakers, working at the behest of the state’s hog industry, are trying to stop these cases against the world’s largest pork producer from ever happening again.

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Coincidence or collusion? NC Oil and Gas Commission receives curious requests to frack.

Friends, neighbors, colleagues of commission chairman Jim Womack submit nearly identical letters claiming Lee County drilling moratorium violates their rights

Earlier this month at a meeting of the state Oil and Gas Commission, Jim Womack, the agency's controversial chairman, seemed agitated, frantic even, to attend to what he deemed as Very Important Business: to hear from disgruntled people who want the commission to overturn Lee County's fracking moratorium.

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Residents voice passionate opposition to proposed methyl bromide operation; regulators remain tight-lipped

Right now in Shenzhen, which, with 12 million people is the fastest-growing city in China, a young couple perhaps is touring a prospective new home, admiring its varnished ochre floors made from Southern yellow pine. They likely are unaware of the origin story of that pine.

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