Environment

Environment

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Duke researcher identifies another devastating impact of rising oceans

Sea level rise is killing trees along the Atlantic coast, creating 'ghost forests' that are visible from space Trekking out to my research sites near North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, I slog through knee-deep water on a section of trail that is completely submerged. Permanent flooding has become commonplace on this low-lying peninsula, nestled behind North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

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Converting hog waste into energy: Not as neat and simple as it might sound

Public comment period ends Sunday on Optima TH's air pollution permit for facility at Smithfield slaughterhouse   Optima TH has applied for a state air quality permit to operate a major biogas facility at Smithfield Fresh Meats in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel. If approved, Optima TH could emit 24,500 to 40,800 tons of greenhouse gases each year.

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Mystery deepens over origin of dangerous chemicals found at massive gasoline spill

Colonial Pipeline's own tests indicate high levels of PFAS that could be linked to clean-up efforts, but state regulators say they need more data Mysterious discrepancies in test results between Colonial Pipeline and the NC Department of Environmental Quality have raised questions about the origin of toxic perfluorinated compounds — PFAS — found in material used at a major gasoline spill in Huntersville.

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Natural gas gets a pass in new bill to further curb local government authority

A bill before the legislature would give preferential treatment to the natural gas industry, which has embarked on a nationwide push to force local governments to keep using the fossil fuel. House Bill 220 would prohibit cities and counties in North Carolina from adopting ordinances to limit the expansion of (or connections to) natural gas service. The measure's primary sponsors are Reps. Dean Arp, John Szoka, Charles Miller and Jason Saine, all Republicans.

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Federal lawsuits reveal corporate intrigue behind controversial Lumberton wood pellet plant

Active Energy left Utah to build a wood pellet plant in Lumberton. Court documents describe a Jenga tower of "alter egos" allegedly designed to shield the firm from responsibility. Philip Scalzo and Daniel McCarthy were living large, pulling down $12,000 to $15,000 a month, plus expenses and benefits as top-tier workers for Active Energy Group.

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Monday numbers: Offshore wind(fall) could create the clean jobs people are clamoring for

Tune in to nearly any public environmental meeting and you'll hear residents of environmental justice communities repeatedly clamor for clean jobs: not pipelines or wood pellet plants, but careers in industries that will break the cycle of generational poverty, while leaving the planet a more hospitable place for future generations.

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Hamlet residents: “We don’t want to be crash test dummies” for facility that would process creosote-treated railroad ties

Comment period ends March 3 for International Tie Disposal site, proposed for an environmental justice community Barbara Brealy has attended Marks Creek Presbyterian Church in Hamlet all of her 80 years. Since last May, Brealy and her fellow 92 congregants — a third of them older than 65 — have attended Sunday services outside, forced out of their pews by the pandemic. The notion that they and future generations of churchgoers could be subjected to more than 100 tons of pollution from a proposed nearby facility did not sit well with her.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at where hazardous waste sites in NC are located

There are more than 2,000 known hazardous waste sites in North Carolina, and more than 10% of them lie within a flood plain. These flood-prone waste sites presents particular threats to nearby residents and ecosystems because the rush of water can displace the contamination, sending it downstream, into flooded homes and neighborhoods, and even private drinking water wells.

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Biden pick for Interior Secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

Some GOP senators expected to try and stop nation's first Native American cabinet nominee U.S. Senate Republicans may use this week’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of Interior nominee Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states.

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In rural Pittsboro, residents fight DOT, Chatham Park Investors over proposed road that would upend their neighborhood

The road would require clear-cutting, take private land, divide the neighborhood, and cross Haven Creek, which feeds the Haw River.

Mark Pavao was working in his home that is tucked inside a woods and perched above a creek when he heard chainsaws.

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The Carolina Sunrock mine sparked a zoning referendum in Caswell County. Now conservative groups are accused of illegal electioneering to defeat it.

The controversy over a proposed mine and an asphalt plant has escalated to allegations of illegal electioneering and subterfuge — tactics that might have changed the outcome of a contentious zoning referendum in Caswell County. Two formal complaints have been filed in connection with the referendum:

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NC’s Michael Regan receives strong bipartisan support at Senate confirmation hearing

DEQ secretary appears headed for easy confirmation as federal EPA Administrator Several years ago, Michael Regan was giving his young son a bath when he remembered a conversation with Amy Brown. Brown, the mother of two young boys, lived near the Allen coal-fired power plant and had been living on bottled water for hundreds of days because her drinking water had become contaminated.

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Just add water: Alcoa proposes discharging cyanide into Badin Lake

To try to comply with state water quality requirements, the company has a creative, if dubious solution. A proposed deal between Alcoa and the NC Department of Environmental Quality would allow the company to increase the amount of cyanide it discharges into Badin Lake, a popular fishing and swimming destination — and a drinking water supply — in Stanly County.

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Monday numbers: NC hit by the biggest gasoline spill in the U.S. this century

Record gasoline spill in Huntersville was Colonial Pipeline's 32nd accident in N.C. since 2000 When Colonial Pipeline initially estimated it had spilled 63,000 gallons of gasoline from a ruptured pipeline in Huntersville last August, that sounded like a lot, about twice the amount in a backyard swimming pool. Now, five months after the disaster, town residents' fears have come true...

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Industry released 39 million pounds of pollution into the environment last year, most of it into the air

North Carolina industry released the least amount of air pollution last year — 21.5 million pounds — since 2003, according to federal data released last week. Releases to land were also at 16-year lows, but discharges to waterways — 8.1 million pounds — were the highest since 2015. Releases for air, land and water totaled 39 million pounds.

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Hog farm that spilled 1 million gallons of feces, urine into waterways had been warned of lagoon problems

DC Mills Farm has familial ties to another operation that incurred a record fine A Jones County farm that spilled an estimated 1 million gallons of hog feces and urine into a tributary of the Trent River shortly before Christmas had been cited twice in the past year by state regulators because its lagoon was too full.

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