Environment

Environment

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BREAKING: DEQ denies key permits for MVP Southgate natural gas pipeline

Division of Water Resources cites doubts about MVP Mainline project, says construction in NC could cause "unnecessary water quality impacts" Another natural gas pipeline in North Carolina has been derailed, at least temporarily, as the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has denied a water quality permit for the MVP Southgate project that would route through Rockingham and Alamance counties.

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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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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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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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Tillis votes down amendment targeting toxic PFAS chemicals; cites “jurisdictional” issues

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis backs legislation that would declare a widespread class of toxic substances as hazardous under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but he recently opposed a similar effort that would only apply to the U.S. Department of Defense. Tillis, a freshman Republican who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted against an amendment to a defense policy bill last month that would have...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Nearly a billion birds producing five million tons of waste per year

NC's fast-growing and lightly-regulated poultry industry is a big and problematic source of pollution As Katy Langley Hunt flies in a plane above the green and brown patches of farmland in eastern North Carolina, she often points out the new poultry farms that seem to pop up overnight.

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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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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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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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