EPA

EPA

Environment Top Story

EPA finally launches major effort to curb PFAS pollution, to mixed reviews about whether it’s enough

The Lake Raleigh fishing pier lies 80 miles north of Ground Zero for the toxic compound GenX, the Chemours chemical plant near the Bladen-Cumberland county line. Presumably, you could safely eat the fish caught from this lake, which is on the NC State University campus, but given the widespread PFAS contamination of North Carolina’s waterways, only testing could tell you for sure.

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Environment News Top Story

PW special report: The great methane debate and what it could mean for North Carolina

Environmental advocates want stronger regulation of the potent greenhouse gas, but Ag and energy interests are touting biogas

More than 2,200 industrialized hog farms and another 200-plus dairy operations in North Carolina are constantly belching untold amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, into the air.

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Environment Top Story

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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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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DEQ Secretary Michael Regan is leading contender for top EPA job under Biden administration

Supporters, detractors grade Regan's performance as NC DEQ secretary A few days before state lawmakers confirmed Michael Regan as Secretary of the Environment in 2017, he appeared in Mebane, where he spoke to the West End Revitalization Association and other environmental justice advocates.

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Environment Top Story

Trump’s EPA chief headlines GenX discussion in Fayetteville with distinctly partisan overtones

Mostly Republican pols invited to hear Andrew Wheeler issue an Apprentice-stye challenge for new chemical clean-up solutions North Carolina is now into Year 4 of its GenX crisis — nearing the equivalent of a presidential term — since the residents of Cumberland, Bladen, Brunswick and New Hanover counties learned their drinking water was contaminated with toxic GenX discharging from the Chemours plant upstream.

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: Herbicide-tainted compost plaguing NC farmers and gardeners

Yard waste, specifically illegally sprayed grass, is suspected as a source The tomatoes grew necks like gourds. The leaves of the purple cornflower, a favorite of butterflies, were twisted and deformed. More plants — cucumbers, peppers, green beans, even the majestic Roselle Hibiscus — began to wither and fail. Earlier this summer throughout central and western North Carolina, gardeners flooded their neighborhood listservs, county extension offices and garden stores with complaints: Something was killing their plants, en masse.

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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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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

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

Chemours says it’s been “re-importing” GenX waste from Netherlands to Fayetteville plant for five years

Chemours has “historically recycled” GenX waste at its Fayetteville Works plant that originated from the company’s facility in Dordrecht, Netherlands, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday. The purpose of exporting the material “is to reduce that quantity that is emitted ...
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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: Debunking the EPA’s clean coal balderdash

Global carbon dioxide emissions are predicted to hit a record high this year, yet the Trump administration plans to eliminate a cap on the amount of the greenhouse gas new US coal-fired power plants can emit.

Last Thursday, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler...

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Environment Top Story

EPA could toughen GenX standards: Here’s why and how you can comment

More people living near the Chemours chemical plant in southeastern North Carolina could qualify for alternate water supplies if the EPA's initial findings on the toxicity of GenX, released last week, are finalized. The basis for the potential switch is the EPA's draft report proposing a chronic reference dose for GenX that translates to a health goal of 110 parts per trillion in drinking water.

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Environment Top Story

Proposed loosening of coal ash rules draws overwhelming opposition at EPA hearing

Clutching a toy panda bear for comfort, 8-year-old Alivia Hopkins had traveled from Illinois to stand atop this chair in the Washington Ballroom of the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Arlington, Va.

A Daisy Scout, Hopkins wore badges on her sash, tassels on her knee socks and a bow in her hair. Before a panel of three Environmental Protection Agency officials, she peered over the podium and delivered a speech, imploring them not to weaken federal coal ash rules.

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Environment Top Story

Carcinogens, other contaminants found near Roxboro and Sutton coal ash sites as EPA looks to weaken rules

Policy Watch recently reviewed more than 20,000 pages of data for a series of stories about groundwater contamination in wells around Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds: Marshall, Cliffside, Allen, Buck and Dan River. This is the final installment in the series, which covers Sutton and Roxboro in context of the recent announcement of proposed changes to coal ash rules by the EPA.

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