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

Wildlife Resources hastily rescued a species of rare fish. Now we know whether the beloved brookies survived

On a crisp summer morning in the mountains, TJ Johnson, a conservation biologist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, hoists a metal box the size of a mini-fridge onto his back. Clad in rubber waders and rubber gloves, he dips two electrodes the shape of snowshoes into the stream. The box beeps, a red light flashes, and Johnson jolts the water with 400 volts of electricity.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at mining, including one polluter that refuses to pay

Last week, the newly constituted state Mining Commission met for the first time since the Earth cooled. The delay was due to a Gov. McCrory-era legal rigmarole that raised the question of whether it was constitutional for state lawmakers to appoint people to the Mining Commission, along with similar bodies overseeing coal ash, and oil and gas.

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Top Story

Gov. Cooper orders NCORR to expedite Hurricane Matthew recovery, but homeowners’ woes continue

Thad Artis, Jr. is living alone in limbo. Artis is entering his second summer in a Goldsboro motel, waiting to move into his new modular home in Pikeville. But his contractor, Rescue Construction, has made no progress on the home.  “A motel is not a home,” Artis said. “It’s just a place to go when you’re on vacation.” Artis is among thousands of homeowners enrolled in the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency's Hurricane Matthew disaster recovery program. He is also among hundreds and hundreds still displaced after the historic 2016 storm.

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Environment Top Story

Citing toxic effects on humans, EPA issues strict new health advisory goals for GenX, other PFAS

WILMINGTON -- Even infinitesimal levels of several types of PFAS, including GenX, can harm human health, the EPA said today, underscoring the toxicity of these compounds in drinking water. Radihka Fox, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Water, announced the more stringent lifetime health advisory goals at the national PFAS conference in Wilmington.

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Crowd of people who are frowning because the Yadkin County planning board is approving a rezoning for a mine
Environment News Top Story

Despite overwhelming community opposition, proposed Yadkin County mine clears first hurdle

Dean Swaim, the stern chairman of the Yadkin County Planning Board, stifled an outburst with a whack of his gavel. “You will respect the board,” he told the roughly 200 people who had just released a collective groan. A vote was pending to rezone land for a controversial rock quarry, proposed for a 498-acre tract in Hamptonville — and it didn’t appear to be going the residents’ way.

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Environment News Top Story

Two dozen violations and $40,000 later, Stericycle in Haw River still pumping pollutants into vulnerable communities

Stericycle, a multinational company with a facility in Haw River, has again been cited by the state for Clean Air Act violations related to its incineration of medical, hospital and infectious waste. The facility at 1168 Porter Ave., has amassed at least two dozen air quality violations over the past decade, totaling nearly $40,000 in civil penalties.

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Environment News Top Story

Monday numbers: A hot and stormy May portends the effects of climate change in North Carolina

Warm and wet in the west, steamy and wet in the middle, and hot and dry in the east: North Carolina's weather trends in May illustrated the effects of climate change. In addition to warmer than normal temperatures, North Carolina experienced at least five confirmed tornadoes in May: in Orange, Durham, Rockingham, Iredell and Cleveland counties.

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Rep.TedDavis-watersampling-PFAS
Environment News Top Story

At emotional committee hearing over PFAS bill, lawmakers and concerned citizens confront Chemours, business interests

State Rep. Ted Davis Jr. sputtered into his microphone at such volume that it distorted the sound of his words. “I’m going to ...
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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Living in his car, then a one-star motel, Goldsboro man who survived Hurricane Matthew gets little relief from state

Man's advocate says NCORR ignored requests for emergency repairs The grumbling of outboard motors announced that help had arrived.  In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew engulfed the city of Goldsboro in 15 inches of rain, lifting the Neuse River to a record 29.7 feet — 11 feet above flood stage.

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Top Story

Unnatural disaster: A special PW series on North Carolina’s struggles to aid homeowners displaced by Hurricane Matthew

NC Policy Watch investigative reporter Lisa Sorg has documented in an ongoing series of powerful reports, the failure to deliver recovery services to scores of families who suffered grievous damage to their homes during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. That collection of reports is presented here.

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