Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

“Intoxicated on its own power”: What the Supreme Court’s decision on the EPA portends for the planet

Relentless heat -- Raleigh is running well ahead of the 30-year average in the number of 90-degree days. The city has already recorded 24 days that hit 90 or above, on pace to blow past the average of 43 days -- and there are still two months until meteorological fall. Persistent drought — 99 of North Carolina's 100 counties are classified as experiencing some level of drought, as of June 28.

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Congress Environment Law and the Courts News Top Story

U.S. Supreme Court curbs federal power to regulate greenhouse gases, in blow to Biden

 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants, siding with a group of Republican attorneys general and coal companies in a major blow to the executive branch’s power to curb climate change.

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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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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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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Roverta and Franklin survived Hurricane Matthew, only to be ignored by the state’s RebuildNC program

For 28 years, Roverta and Franklin have owned a spacious mobile home and a lot in Dudley, in Wayne County. Here, they raised a family. They planted a flower garden. They barbecued in the backyard. Roberta ran a day care, as the couple’s own children grew into adults.

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Environment News Top Story

Monday numbers: Duke Energy’s carbon reduction plan still allows for methane emissions, major driver of climate change

Duke Energy's proposed carbon reduction plan calls for steep cuts in carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, but does not decrease other types of emissions that drive climate change, according to filings with the state Utilities Commission. House Bill 951, now law, directed the state Utilities Commission to "take all reasonable steps" to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from Duke Energy: 70% from 2005 levels by the year 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050.

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Environment News Top Story

3 big reasons why the Biden climate agenda is floundering

President Joe Biden’s climate agenda took a hit this month when the Interior Department said it would open 144,000 acres of federal land up for oil and gas development to comply with a court order to restart fossil fuel development. The announcement marked yet another setback for a presidential climate plan that was once seen as historically ambitious.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: Chapel Hill’s plan to build offices and housing atop a coal ash disposal site

In the 1960s and 1970s, when coal was still king, the UNC power plant in Chapel Hill generated millions of tons of ash, the byproduct of burning the fuel for energy. Some of that ash had to go somewhere, and that somewhere was 828 Martin Luther King Blvd. on the north side of town. In 1980, the town unknowingly built its police headquarters on that property. But not until 2013 did town officials realize that ash was present.

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Environment News Top Story

“Outer Banks Strange”: Are unexploded bombs a threat to environmental safety?

SOUTHERN SHORES, NC – Standing before the town council in early March, Southern Shores Town Manager Cliff Ogburn began yet another presentation on the bombs potentially buried around town. It was strange, but it was "Outer Banks Strange." Strange like side-of-the-highway historical markers recounting German submarines sinking U.S. ships off the coast.

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Environment Top Story

Renewables company could transform how millions of tons of hog waste are managed in NC

Montauk Ag Renewable has test site in Duplin County and plans to operate plant in Sampson County, but will it work? Outside a large steel barn in Magnolia, Martin Redeker scooped loads of dried hog waste, composted with carbon, onto a snow shovel for anyone to take a deep whiff.  It smelled. 

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: DEQ cites Greensboro company for “imminent and substantial endangerment” over handling of hazardous pharmaceutical waste

A financially troubled company stored more than 500 containers of flammable liquids, gases and hazardous pharmaceuticals without a permit, posing an “imminent and substantial endangerment,” according to state regulators. Pharmaceutical Dimensions, which leased a warehouse at 7353-A W. Friendly Ave. in Greensboro, was cited by the NC Department of Environmental Quality in early March after repeatedly failing to comply with hazardous waste rules for nearly a year.

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