Archives by: Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

About the author

Lisa Sorg, Environmental Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in July 2016. She covers environmental issues, including social justice, pollution, climate change and energy policy. Before joining the project, Lisa was the editor and an investigative reporter for INDY Week, covering the environment, housing and city government. She has been a journalist for 22 years, working at magazines, daily newspapers, digital media outlets and alternative newsweeklies.
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Lisa Sorg's articles and posts

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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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State transportation officials grilled at Senate hearing over damning audit

If the North Carolina Department of Transportation's financial practices were a highway, it would be a steep mountain road knotted by switchbacks and imperiled by landslides — and one with few guard rails. DOT overspent its budget by nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in 2019, according to a performance audit of the department's expenditures released by the State Auditor this month.

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Environment Top Story

Legislators renew bipartisan push for DHHS study of potential cancer clusters

Mysterious cases of rare cancers have baffled North Carolina health officials, but incomplete data, inadequate surveillance and insufficient staff have hampered their ability to investigate suspected cancer clusters. Those conclusions and possible solutions, recently issued by a Cancer Research Advisory Panel, have been incorporated into two bills introduced by lawmakers last week.

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Environment Top Story

Will state and county officials approve proposed bridge over troubled water?

Company proposing controversial Wake quarry wants to build truck bridge over polluted creek; environmental advocates seek a public hearing Wake Stone, the company behind a controversial quarry expansion next to Umstead State Park, has significantly changed its mining permit application to include a bridge over Crabtree Creek, a troubled tributary of the Neuse River.

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Environment Top Story

PW investigates: Lack of transparency, scrutiny involving state agency’s Pesticide Section

North Carolina's dated and weak pesticide regulations do little to discourage the misuse of dangerous chemicals A few hours before dawn one March morning in 2013, Johnathan Covington woke to find his young daughter on the couch, crying. The night prior, an acrid smell had begun infiltrating the family home. Covington’s daughter said her eyes hurt and she couldn’t sleep.

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Environment News Top Story

Waiting to exhale: Controversial wood pellet plant would burden Lumberton with more pollution

Wood pellet manufacturer would bring a handful of jobs and lots of new pollution to Robeson County The picnic tables at Alamac Community Park are ideal for watching log trucks yaw into the entrance of an old textile factory in Lumberton. The swings, slide and basketball court command a view of the grim and monolithic building, flanked by a dilapidated guard shack and in back, a smoke stack that pokes a hole in the sky.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Duke health experts call for patience, testing, improved federal coordination in pandemic battle

Sudden reopening would jeopardize progress made thus far This is Day 50. It feels like Day 500. A new coronavirus, which technically isn’t even alive, has outwitted us. The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed the state and the nation, vanquished our economy and killed 40,000 people in the U.S. — including 235 in North Carolina — and another 131,000 worldwide, all of whom were loved by someone.

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Environment News Top Story

Your discarded carpet is poisoning the Earth with PFAS

New research shows very high levels of PFAS in construction and demolition landfills, jeopardizing groundwater When a building succumbs, by age or wind or water or fire, its innards have to go somewhere. Carpet, bricks, drywall, windows, shingles and siding, are hauled to a special type of landfill, known as construction and demolition, or C&D. New research published in the journal Waste Management this week reported that very high levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) have been found seeping from several C&D landfills in Florida, which has environmental and public health implications for North Carolina.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Shockingly large numbers” of positive virus tests found at troubled Orange County nursing home

The man, known in federal documents as Resident No. 1, was wearing his hospital gown, underwear and socks, lying on top of some rocks in a drainage ditch. The ditch had a small amount of water in it, and part of his gown was wet. About three feet away sat his shoes.  On a March morning a year ago, the sun was just coming up, and the man, with his arms folded across his chest, was looking up at the sky.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at what federal relief could mean to North Carolina workers

[Editor's note: This post has been updated to provide additional information regarding the eligibility of Social Security recipients for stimulus checks.] Some money is better than no money, but $1,200 doesn't go as far as some think it might: A month's rent, maybe. Less than a month's worth of child care for two kids. About two weeks' worth of groceries for a family of four. The $2 trillion bailout package, which includes help for major corporations, as well as small businesses, includes a one-time $1,200 payment for taxpayers.

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