NC Department of Environmental Quality

NC Department of Environmental Quality

Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: Investigation shows NC pension funds hold stock in GenX polluter, Chemours

Despite concerns, Treasurer Dale Folwell maintains state investments in much-criticized company that polluted the Cape Fear All winter long, it seemed, there was a spill. A leak. An “accident.”  Throughout 2017 and 2018, the Chemours Fayetteville Works plant discharged and emitted GenX, a toxic compound, into the air, the Cape Fear River, and the groundwater, polluting the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of people.

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PW exclusive: Documents reveal years of illegal dumping near Falls Lake

Complex rules, poor coordination by regulators have allowed single property owner to put Raleigh's water supply in harm's way First, the land suffocating under 40 feet of dirt and construction trash was to become a horse pasture. But no horses ever arrived.

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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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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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Environment Top Story

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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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

“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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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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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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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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