Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: 2,624 years and counting, a bald cypress tree in North Carolina has survived all manner of natural and human-made disasters

For 2,624 years, a bald cypress tree in southeastern North Carolina has endured the gamut of planetary upheavals, both natural and human-made: hurricanes and heat waves, floods and drought; the Little Ice Age, the Year Without a Summer — and now, global warming.

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PW special report (Part 2): Unregulated, untested, unknown

The DAK Americas plant consumes 50 acres of a sprawling 300-acre industrial complex on Cedar Creek Road in southeast Fayetteville, along the banks of the Cape Fear River. Trucks idle at the gate, awaiting approval from security. Stacks exhale steam into the air; a fluorescent orange windsock flutters in the breeze. Across from DAK is Belmont Park, a modest subdivision originally constructed in the early to mid-1970s whose streets are barely wide enough for two cars to pass. In front of the plant is a row of one-story brick homes...

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Environment Top Story

PW special report: Unregulated, untested and unknown

Investigation shows that dangerous chemical was included in materials received by NC composting facility This is the first of a two-part investigation into how the lack of federal regulations and state oversight allowed 1,4-Dioxane, a likely carcinogen and emerging contaminant, to be trucked in wastewater sludge to a North Carolina compost facility. Part 2 runs tomorrow morning.

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Environment Top Story

News analysis: Conservative lawmakers move to undermine NC environmental protection efforts

Of all the enemies to single out, conservative lawmakers have targeted nature — the wind, sun and trees — as a way to thwart the potential benefits of the governor’s executive order on climate change.

These four bills — and there are more — would essentially penalize Duke Energy ratepayers, buyers of low- or zero-emissions cars, birds, forests, current inhabitants of the planet and future generations, for political payback.

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The big Duke coal ash clean-up: Where things stand and what to expect next

Few people saw this coming. Duke Energy — whose corporate power touches the lives of every North Carolinian every day — whose outsized political influence exerts itself via hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions every election — whose former employees-turned-state-officials, ex-Gov. Pat McCrory, ex-State Rep. Mike Hager and...

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BREAKING: DEQ orders Duke Energy to excavate remaining coal ash impoundments

Duke Energy must excavate its final nine coal ash impoundments at six plants, state environmental regulators announced today, overruling the utility's concerns that the method would be too expensive and environmentally risky.

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Monday numbers – BYOB: Bring your own bag

China doesn’t want our trash, and the world is looking for somewhere else to dump it. After importing 760 million tons of plastic waste from the US alone in 2016, China banned 24 types of scrap waste from entering its borders last year, including most plastics and cardboard.

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Senators decry Trump administration’s ‘lack of urgency’ on PFAS like GenX

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration has failed to act swiftly enough to protect the public from harmful contaminants present in drinking water throughout the country, U.S. senators told senior administration officials Thursday.

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Senate committee deals another blow to controversial environmental nonprofit

The Resource Institute, a politically connected nonprofit that received a questionable and unprecedented $5 million appropriation for hurricane recovery in last year’s budget, could lose part of its windfall, according to a bill that passed out of the Senate Rules Committee today.

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Duke U. scientists to focus on radon, coal ash, flame retardants in Iredell thyroid cancer cluster probe

Something is changing the genetic code in the cells of young girls in Iredell County. Duke University scientists last night released preliminary findings of 18 months’ of study into potential causes of papillary thyroid cancer among teen girls, some as young as 13, in the ZIP codes of 28115 and 28117. Those areas include neighborhoods on or near Lake Norman.

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State review skewers work of well-connected environmental nonprofit

Fifty-one duplicate invoices. At least $20,000 in excess payments. And one nonprofit receiving a disproportionate amount of taxpayer dollars to broker stream restoration deals for private landowners in western North Carolina. The Resource Institute, based in Winston-Salem, was a subject of a months long investigation...

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North Carolina regulators detect toxic perfluorinated compound at Raleigh site

Rainwater monitoring conducted by state environmental regulators show one detection of a type of perfluorinated compound at the Raleigh monitoring site last spring. PFBA, a product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches and carpets, was found at a level of 7.4ppt during on May 29, 2018.

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RDU officials side with mining interests in clash over Umstead quarry

Umstead State Park in winter is at its least beautiful, but in no way is it ugly. Within the park’s palette of gray and rust appear plush pelts of moss in iridescent green and coarse crowns of lichens in dusty mint. Outcrops of ancient rocks, composed of minerals such as feldspar and quartz, are strewn across the forest floor like scattered teeth.

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Monday numbers – A closer look at North Carolina’s greenhouse gas emissions

This is how a decision made at the top reaches of the US government trickles down: The Trump administration’s proposal to roll back vehicle pollution standards could hamper North Carolina’s ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

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Ex-DEQ inspector says he shared DuPont pollution info with federal investigators

A former inspector with the state Division of Air Quality says he has shared agency information with federal investigators about contamination from DuPont’s Fayetteville Works plant from 15 years ago. Tom McKinney, who now works in the Division of Water Resources, said...

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EPA cites Chemours with multiple notices of violation; company allegedly failed to provide key documents

The EPA today announced it has issued a Notice of Violation to Chemours for failing to comply, on multiple occasions, with federal law at the company's plant in Fayetteville. According to EPA documents -- some of them heavily redacted -- obtained earlier today by Policy Watch, Chemours in Fayetteville failed to provide many key documents related to the import, processing, recycling/reclamation, and health and safety effects of GenX and other chemicals.

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