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

Along now-defunct Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, landowners are left in the lurch

Environmental destruction, property entanglements will take years to address

Behind a black wooden farm gate, near Wade in Cumberland County, used to lie a meadow. Serene, tree-lined, it was a spot of utopia where Donovan McLaurin had planned to build a small house for himself.

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Environment Top Story

PW special report part two: Lax local regulation allows toxic carcinogen to infiltrate drinking water across the Cape Fear River Basin

It took a little more than two weeks for the wastewater contaminated with the toxic chemical 1,4-Dioxane to travel the 50 miles from Greensboro to Pittsboro. On Aug. 23, 2019, thousands of taps in the small Chatham County town flowed with water containing levels of the compound up to 300 times greater than the health goal set by the EPA.

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Environment Top Story

PW special report: While toxic chemical polluted Cape Fear River Basin, some utilities officials dismissed public health risk

One Greensboro official falsely accused scientist of scaring public for private gain; Reidsville sought help from Sen. Berger’s office

On the cloudy, muggy morning of Aug. 7, 2019, William Burdick, an industrial compliance specialist for the City of Greensboro, dipped several empty vials into the wastewater at the TZ Osborne treatment plant. He sealed the vials, packed them in a cooler on ice, and waited for Pace Labs to retrieve them for analysis.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: What’s immune to the economic pain of COVID-19? The NC lottery.

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked the finances of millions of Americans: Record unemployment, the widespread closure of major companies and small businesses, and for those who have been hospitalized with the virus, medical bills. But of all the ways the virus has upended our lives, the state lottery has remained unscathed.

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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

New research confirms presence of toxic “forever chemicals” in scores of NC water supplies

GenX study shows contamination in 80% of wells tested; mice studies show liver damage from Nafion Byproduct 2 Raw water supplies for at least 169 public utilities in North Carolina contained some level of toxic PFAS, underscoring the call by scientists to regulate the 5,000-plus perfluorinated compounds as a class and and amplifying new science showing their detrimental health effects on humans.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Senate approves wealthy Republican donor Art Pope for UNC Board of Governors

Art Pope — Raleigh millionaire, ex-state budget director, former House member and financial underwriter of controversial arch-conservative and libertarian causes — has been appointed to a seat on the UNC Board of Governors.

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Environment Top Story

Trump administration overrules NC, approves offshore seismic testing for oil and gas deposits

Buffeted by breaking waves and a brisk ocean breeze, the town of Rodanthe balances on a precarious shard of land along the Outer Banks. From here, the eastern-most point in North Carolina, it is less than 45 miles to an expanse of the sea where energy corporations plan to puncture the ocean bed in search of oil and gas.

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Environment Top Story

Federal court strikes down NC’s controversial “ag-gag” law

Surprise ruling validates the First Amendment rights of reporters, whistleblowers In a stunning decision, a federal court judge has struck down North Carolina’s “ag-gag law,” ruling that several of its provisions are unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment.

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Environment Top Story

NCDOT apologizes to Durham leaders for failing to inform them about proposed Dominion pipeline along American Tobacco Trail

Yet a mid-level Durham employee knew about the proposal in 2018 but never informed city leaders. The state Department of Transportation apologized to Triangle government officials today for failing to inform them of a proposal to build a natural gas pipeline along part of the American Tobacco Trail, one of the premier recreational destinations in the region.

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