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Environment

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State Court of Appeals hears arguments in challenge to legislature’s limits on hog nuisance lawsuits

Eastern NC residents say industry-initiated prohibitions in 2017 and 2018 Farm Acts are unconstitutional On Wednesday afternoon, a 90-minute court hearing boiled down to an essential question: Do the Farm Acts of 2017 and 2018 — still controversial years after their enactment — provide a “right without a remedy”?

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Environment News Top Story

Interior Department calls for oil and gas leasing updates, but not ending production

The U.S. Interior Department recommended increased fees for oil and gas exploration on federal lands as part of a long-awaited report released Friday that environmental groups said didn’t go far enough in limiting fossil fuels and Republicans derided as an attack on domestic producers. The report, ordered by President Joe Biden during his first week in office, focuses on fiscal reforms...

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Environment Top Story

The legislature’s environmental budget: What’s in it, how much, and why it matters to you

For the past 10 years, Republican-led majorities in the General Assembly have sacked the Department of Environmental Quality budget, apparent punishment for enforcing, even meagerly, state and federal environmental regulations. Yet, for the first time since 2017, the legislature's new proposed budget for DEQ exceeds $100 million.

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Environment News Top Story

Snow Camp residents claim small, but important victory in fight over Alamance Aggregates mine

Court testimony revealed how the Mining Act favors industry. Boom.  Crack.  Boom.  Crack. During the last two weeks of September, Alamance Aggregates began ...
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Environment Top Story

Finger pointing over failed private water system in Currituck County leaves neighborhood awash in sewage

This past Halloween the streets of the Eagle Creek Subdivision in Moyock, in Currituck County, teemed with trick-or-treaters, their buckets and bags filled with candy. “People were saying, ‘What’s that smell?’” Stephanie Harlow an Eagle Creek resident, told Policy Watch. “‘It smells like a zoo.’”

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Environment News Top Story

Clean energy, transit, rail projects: White House explains, touts sprawling infrastructure bill

WASHINGTON—Federal officials on Tuesday offered details about how money from the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill would be spent, emphasizing the pending law’s potential to add clean energy capacity. Department of Transportation officials highlighted the $1.2 trillion bill’s record funding for public transit like buses and subways, as well as for Amtrak.

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Environment News Top Story

Obama at world climate conference: We are falling short

Returning to the world stage on climate change, former President Barack Obama on Monday told world leaders and young people gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, that time is running out to prevent life-threatening degradation of the planet’s climate, and he called on the world’s young people to demand better. “Collectively and individually, we are still falling short. We have not done nearly enough to address this crisis,” Obama said in an address broadcast from the main stage of the COP 26 world conference on climate.

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Environment News Top Story

Special report: Americans in climate-threatened regions anxious for solutions from world summit

Flooded beach towns will be abandoned along millions of miles of coastlines. Islands will be inundated. It has already begun. Heat will become so oppressive that field workers can’t endure it and crops fail. It’s already happening.

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Environment News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the rapid growth in electric and hybrid vehicles in NC

With more than three years to go before its self-imposed deadline, North Carolina has attained 40% of its goal for zero-emissions vehicle registrations.In 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 80, which laid out North Carolina's plan to combat climate change and to transition to clean energy.

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Environment Top Story

Will property owners who lost land to scuttled Atlantic Coast Pipeline get it back?

Advocates cry foul as future of thousands of easements in North Carolina and Virginia remains uncertain  Dominion Energy laid claim to 3,100 tracts of private land along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, including hundreds in North Carolina, but the company is not immediately returning that acreage to property owners, even though the project has been cancelled.

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Environment Top Story

EPA: GenX far more toxic that originally thought, could prompt NC to significantly reduce health advisory goal

GenX, a chemical compound found in the drinking water of more than 1 million North Carolinians, is far more toxic that scientists originally believed, according to the EPA. The agency yesterday released a final toxicology assessment for the compound, showing that even lower levels of GenX in drinking water could harm human health, particularly the liver.

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Environment Higher Ed

PW exclusive: NC State faculty, safety officer and graduate students sound alarm over potentially harmful air contamination in chemistry building

Students reported headaches, nausea, vomiting, but say their concerns about poor ventilation were dismissed On the morning of Oct. 7, NC State University chemistry professor Jim Martin arrived at Dabney Hall carrying boxes to pack up his office in Room 822A. In less than 10 minutes, an air sensor gave him some disturbing results.

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Environment Top Story

Offshore wind industry leaders ask Congress to back long-term plans to increase production

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is making a significant push for new offshore wind development to meet ambitious climate goals, but industry leaders say they also need long-term commitments and support from Congress to reach their potential. Leaders of the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry called on Congress to invest in renewables at a hearing of a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel Thursday.

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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

U.S. Senate hearings: Investments can soften blow of climate change, but needs are great and urgent

Federal hurricane prevention for New Orleans that cost billions worked during Ida, senators agree U.S. senators on Wednesday promoted a federal hurricane system’s performance in New Orleans during Hurricane Ida, but noted that other regions experienced devastation that is likely to worsen as climate change produces more intense and frequent storms.

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Environment News Top Story

Revamped energy bill alleviates some concerns, but would still burden Duke Energy’s low-income ratepayers

The North Carolina General Assembly's super-secret energy legislation, House Bill 951, has been overhauled since a group of special interests — Duke Energy, primarily — hashed out a 47-page opus six months ago. Now at a slim 10 pages, some of the most obvious giveaways to utilities have been eliminated, including legislative mandates for new natural gas and nuclear plants.

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