NC Department of Environmental Quality

NC Department of Environmental Quality

Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: The death of a pipeline

After years of effort, opponents of the cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline celebrate, reflect and look to the future Belinda Joyner had returned from Sunday church and was settling in for the afternoon when she heard the news. “Is this real?” Joyner asked her friend, who sent an email with the official announcement. “Yes,” her friend replied.

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Environment Top Story

Experts see a dire warning for North Carolina in new climate crisis numbers

State officials release "resilience plan," but political will remains in question In addition to deaths worldwide from COVID-19 and record unemployment, the globe surpassed another portentous record last month: The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest ever recorded — 417.1 parts per million, according to an announcement yesterday by NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Environment News Top Story

DEQ rejects Chemours’ proposed GenX groundwater cleanup plan

Company now says it’s too expensive to remove PFAS compounds, including GenX, to comply with consent order

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has rejected a groundwater cleanup plan proposed by Chemours, which would have left at least 70 square miles contaminated with the chemical GenX.

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Environment Top Story

A Superfund cleanup in Jacksonville failed. Without federal funding for a fix, contamination is spreading.

Beset by budget cuts, bankruptcies, legal disputes and broken equipment, the cleanup of the ABC Cleaners property has been further delayed. ABC Cleaners, a jumble of buildings with a warped vinyl facade and an American flag above the front door, sat across the boulevard from the Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, for nearly 50 years. In its heyday, in the 1960s and '70s, ABC did a bustling business. Its main clientele were Marines whose uniforms —black, gold-buttoned coats, azure trousers with a scarlet stripe on the outer seam — needed cleaning and pressing.

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Environment Top Story

Duke Energy says it will fully excavate coal ash from unlined ponds, but that won’t fix the legacy of contamination

Tonight is the first public meeting on historic closure plans of Duke Energy's unlined coal ash basins. The modern history of Duke Energy in North Carolina pivots on a single day: Feb. 2, 2014. On that Sunday afternoon, a pipe collapsed at the utility's coal-fired power plant in Eden...

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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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Environment Top Story

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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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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Environment Top Story

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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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

“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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Environment 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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