NC Department of Environmental Quality

NC Department of Environmental Quality

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

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

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

Monday numbers (plus): NC celebrates greenhouse gas report, but fracking, wood pellets and natural gas pipelines might spoil the party

The summer of 2018 ranks among the wettest on record in eastern North Carolina, a consequence of climate change and its driver — greenhouse gas emissions. The NC Department of Environmental Quality’s draft Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows the state’s contributions to a warming and unpredictable global climate...

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Environment Top Story

Old and in the way: Hurricane Florence could barrel over landfills, waste lagoons, hazardous waste sites and more toxics

Thousands of animal waste lagoons, hazardous waste sites and other repositories of toxic material lie in and near the projected path of Hurricane Florence, increasing the risk of breaches or leaks of dangerous chemicals into the environment.

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Original Commentary Top Story

N.C. General Assembly has failed to act, but the time to stop Chemours’ pollution is now

“How long before we say enough is enough?” state lawmaker Ted Davis Jr. asked his colleagues in the N.C. House in February. “How much more is Chemours going to get away with before something is done?”

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Top Story

Sorrow and outrage over GenX contamination in drinking water

DuPont had yet to break ground on its chemical plant when Elsie Dew's father dug Marshwood Lake in 1964, in a hushed forest off Tranquility Road near the Cumberland-Bladen County line.

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Environment Top Story

Where to put NC’s coal ash? Court of Appeals asked to rule on legality of high-profile option

It has been nearly four years since Feb. 2, 2014, when 39,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons of contaminated water spilled from a failed impoundment at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden. And on Wednesday — Day 1,453 since the disaster that forever changed the state’s environmental landscape — a flight of lawyers appeared before a three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

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