Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at 1,4-Dioxane levels in the Cape Fear

Levels of 1,4-Dioxane, which the EPA has linked to cancer, increased for a fourth straight month in raw water entering the Cape Fear River Authority’s Sweeney plant in Wilmington, according to the utility.

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Pork giant Murphy-Brown battling insurers over who should pay for hog nuisance verdicts

If you drive through eastern North Carolina some days, especially in the wet heat of a summer afternoon, you might become immersed in the stench of hog waste. Many farmers hail it as the smell of money. Some neighbors of the industrialized swine operations denounce it as the foul air of misery. But for Murphy-Brown and their insurance companies, the odor represents nearly $100 million in damages and legal fees from hog nuisance lawsuits that as it stands today, somebody will have to pay.

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Congress urged to make ‘Apollo-type’ investment to combat climate crisis

WASHINGTON -- Climate change could cost Americans billions of dollars, destroy coastal communities and put agriculture, healthcare and military facilities at risk unless the government acts swiftly, experts warned Congress Wednesday.

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Activists to Congress: N.C. residents living ‘on bottled water and fear’

WASHINGTON -- What did leading chemical corporations know about the health risks of PFAS, and when did they know it?  Members of Congress sought an answer to that question this week at a hearing on widespread public exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a dangerous class of chemicals that’s ubiquitous in North Carolina and other states. One lawmaker described PFAS as “the DDT of our era.”

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Controversial ex-DEQ chief Donald van der Vaart nominated to Environmental Management Commission

Van der Vaart: supporter of Trump, critic of regulation, was in charge during some of the state's most troubled times in modern environmental history. Before Sen. Phil Berger flew to Berlin to attend the Senate Presidents' Forum earlier this month, he had to attend to an important piece of housekeeping.

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Environment Top Story

Under pressure, superintendent agrees to second enviro study at Moore County school site

More than 10 pollution sources, including two Superfund sites, are within a mile of the new Aberdeen Elementary School Moore County Schools Superintendent Robert Grimesey has ordered a Phase II environmental assessment of the new Aberdeen Elementary School ...
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Chemours throws DuPont under the bus, alleges company chose to discharge PFAS into the Cape Fear River

Spinoff company's bombshell court filings say DuPont used cutthroat methods to dodge costs of cleaning up dangerous chemicals DuPont could have permanently stopped discharging perfluorinated compounds – PFAS – from its Fayetteville Works plant into the Cape Fear River nine years ago, but decided against it in order to foist the liability onto a spinoff company, court documents allege.

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After contamination found in groundwater, DEQ orders full investigation of Chatham County coal ash site

Groundwater near a coal ash repository in Chatham County has again tested high for contaminants, prompting state environmental officials to require a full assessment of the site. A former clay mine, Brickhaven lies four miles southeast of Moncure near the Lee County line.

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Environment News Top Story

Monday numbers: Climate change likely to cost NC $34.8 billion – and that’s just for seawalls

In 2016, Hurricane Florence moved so slowly – more like a mosey, instead of a sprint – that it emptied trillions of gallons of rain over the same places for hours, even days. "At times I could have outrun" the storm, said scientist  Jessica Whitehead, chief resilience officer for the state's Office of Resilience and Recovery, at a climate change summit in Havelock earlier this month.

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Lawsuit challenges constitutionality of NC laws protecting hog industry from nuisance actions

State lawmakers allegedly violated the North Carolina constitution when they passed legislation that stripped residents of their right to sue industrialized hog operations for nuisance, according to a legal complaint filed this week. 

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PW exclusive: Moore County locates new elementary school near pollution, hazardous waste sites in Aberdeen

Racial, economic composition of school contributes to environmental justice concerns On the edge of Aberdeen lay a lovely tract of land that was easy to miss while speeding down Highway 5. Stippled with young to middle-aged pine trees, it historically had been used for timbering, but now the landowner, BVM Properties, was ready to sell.

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State budget, new scientific tests shine a light on NC’s growing drinking water pollution problem

PFAS contamination found in both and Jones and Orange counties Maysville, which sits on the rim of the Croatan National Forest, is home to 1,000 people — about half of whom rely on the town’s sole drinking water well. And that well, according to a brief sentence in the both the House and Senate versions of the state budget, is contaminated.

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Environment Top Story

Proposed legislation would dramatically weaken state hog farm oversight

A sentence here, a paragraph there. A strike-through, a repeal, a new section. Individually, the Farm Act and the House and Senate budgets chip away at the incremental yet significant progress the state has made toward regulating industrialized livestock operations. But taken in total...

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Senate panel advances controversial bid to allow dumping of toxic electronics in landfills

That sleek flat panel TV with the ultra high-definition screen — or the anvil of an ancient model that can still muster a picture — are safe when hanging on your living room wall. But crush them in a landfill and their contents are toxic. A controversial provision in the state legislature's Regulatory Reform Bill would allow local governments to opt out...

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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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