NC Department of Environmental Quality

NC Department of Environmental Quality

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 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former Army missile plant in Burlington poses “an urgent public health risk”

Private owners neglect the contaminated property, posing an environmental threat to a Black and Latinx neighborhood

This is the second of a two-part story about hazardous contamination at a former missile plant in Burlington that is threatening a predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhood.

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Clear and present danger: Former Army missile plant has polluted a Black, Latino neighborhood in Burlington for more than 30 years

Military, private owner have allowed toxic contaminants to fester, avoided penalties while residents bear environmental burden Tattooed in ivy, bound in chain-link fence, Building 16 casts an ominous three-story shadow over several homes along Hilton Road. The window blinds are torn, as if it were sleeping with one eye open.

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Environment Featured Articles

Peligro inminente: Una antigua planta de misiles del Ejército ha contaminado un vecindario negro y latino durante 30 años

El Ejército y los propietarios privados han permitido que los contaminantes tóxicos se enconen sin tener que pagar ninguna multa, mientras los residentes soportan las repercusiones medioambientales. Esta es la primera entrega de un artículo de dos partes ...
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Environment News Top Story

Methyl bromide, a neurotoxin that carves holes in the ozone layer, is up for permitting at the Port of Wilmington

The Port of Wilmington is a 284-acre maze of steel, cable and concrete where ships as long as three football fields maneuver through the channel. Cranes hoist shipping containers and stack them like Lego blocks. Inbound or outbound, they are crammed with goods — grains and wood, chemicals and clothes — and are headed for the railroad, the highway, or 26 miles down the river to the open sea.

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Environment News Top Story

Skilled in diplomacy, Elizabeth Biser coasts to NC DEQ Secretary confirmation

As a former lobbyist, Elizabeth Biser is accustomed to corralling the lions and the lambs.  Those diplomatic skills helped Biser win over the Senate Agriculture, Energy and Environment Committee, which today voted to confirm her as the new secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality. She will be the first woman to lead the department.

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Environment Top Story

Tropical Storm Elsa is headed for NC: Here’s how to learn if you live in a flood zone, near environmental hazards

The first tropical system of the summer, named Elsa, is expected to cause localized flooding in North Carolina tomorrow, as it crosses into Scotland and Richmond counties in the morning and then travels through the central part of the state. Here is a brief tutorial for learning whether you're in a flood zone and what other environmental hazards could lurk below the water.

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Environment Top Story

‘Sooner’ or ‘later’? Fate of Wake Stone quarry near Umstead State Park hinges on one word

Former N.C. Attorney General says there was no typo, but the state intended for mining to wind down in 2032, not the 22nd century One word — “sooner” — in a 40-year-old mining permit could alter the future of a quarry and its proposed expansion adjacent to Umstead State Park in Raleigh.

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Environment News Top Story

Uncharted territory: Senate committee rejects nomination of NC DEQ Secretary Delli-Gatti

In a snub to Gov. Roy Cooper and an apparent affirmation of the political power of energy utilities, the Senate Agriculture, Energy and Environment Committee rejected the confirmation of Secretary of the Environment Dionne Delli-Gatti today during a tumultuous and heated hearing.

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Environment News Top Story

PW exclusive: PFAS levels spiking in monitoring wells in New Hanover County

Concentration of toxic compounds up 260% in one well, compared with last year Levels of perfluorinated compounds, also known as PFAS, have surged in several monitoring wells in New Hanover County recent data show, prompting state regulators to investigate potential sources.

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Environment Top Story

Senate committee holds hostile confirmation hearing for Cooper DEQ nominee

And it's not over; hearing to be continued. Not until Minute 100 of a 120-minute confirmation hearing for Secretary of the Environment nominee Dionne Delli-Gatti did any lawmaker speak the words “environmental justice.” Even then, the context for the comment was not one of concern for communities of color and low-income neighborhoods who are disproportionately burdened by polluting industries.

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Environment Top Story

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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Environment News Top Story

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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Environment Top Story

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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Environment Top Story

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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Environment Top Story

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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