Environment

Environment

Environment Top Story

Greenville greenlights cryptomining facilities, energy gluttons and contributors to climate change

Somewhere in Greenville — few know the precise location — dozens of shipping containers could soon appear on the landscape. These containers, known as “modular data-processing centers” — but which are actually cryptomining operations — will be jammed with lightning-fast computers whose blinking lights indicate they are thinking.

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New revelations point to additional violations at troubled charter schools

State officials say student records were wrongfully altered at Wake and Bertie County schools by the daughter of the couple who ran them The management of Three Rivers Academy and Torchlight Academy was a family affair when state monitors found “altered documents” in the schools’ exceptional children programs.

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After years of neglect, four of NC’s most polluted Superfund sites funded for clean-up

With American Rescue Plan funds, EPA targets sites in Charlotte, Gastonia, Yadkinville and Jacksonville; here's what neighbors should know A blighted eyesore on Jacksonville's main drag. Contaminated former dry cleaners in suburban Gastonia and far east Charlotte. A vast and abandoned creosote treatment facility that has poisoned the soil, groundwater and nearby streams and a pond.

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Environment

Air testing planned for neighborhood adjacent to contaminated former missile plant in Burlington

Extent of toxic solvents still unknown; new round of testing to begin

Environmental testing could restart as early as next month at a former Army missile plant in East Burlington, the next step in cleaning up widespread contamination that has burdened a Black and Latinx neighborhood for more than 30 years.

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Monday numbers: 23 million solar panels will someday die. Should we recycle, reuse or throw away?

There are at least 23.3 million solar panels on utility-scale farms in North Carolina, and some day those panels will sputter out and die. What will become of these panels when they pass?

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PFAS, climate change, mining and hazardous waste: 2022 will be another critical year for the environment in North Carolina

On the first day of 2022, the neighbors’ air conditioners were running. The temperature at Raleigh-Durham International Airport hit 78 degrees, a record for the date; at 1:51 p.m. the high humidity even produced a heat index of 79. A heat index. In January.

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Court of Appeals rules NC lawmakers were within their authority to all but outlaw hog nuisance lawsuits

A three-judge panel from the state Court of Appeals unanimously ruled against an environmental justice group today, deciding that North Carolina legislature had the authority to make it difficult, if not impossible, for people to sue hog farms for nuisance.

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Unexplained drilling on land owned by former lawmaker alarms neighbors in Yadkin County

Firm headed by developer with links to mining and fracking is looking for something on former State Rep. Wilma Sherrill's property For the past six months, mysterious drilling has been conducted on a vast tract of land north of Hamptonville, in Yadkin County, and the company president behind the project is refusing to disclose what he’s looking for and why.

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Monday numbers: NC’s biggest sewage offenders rack up millions of dollars in fines

Sewage backing up into people's showers in Currituck County. Millions of gallons of hog waste flooding streams and wetlands Down East. Problems at student apartments near Appalachian State and Western Carolina universities in the mountains. Illegal wastewater discharges are not merely a nuisance, but a threat to public health and the environment. Fecal material can contaminate drinking water wells and waterways. Industrial wastewater can contain numerous contaminants that enter the drinking water supply.

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“We don’t have time to wait”: Residents tell DEQ it must quickly regulate toxic PFAS in drinking water

North Carolina lags behind several states in regulating PFAS, prompting residents with contaminated drinking water to again urge state environmental officials to regulate the toxic compounds. “Lives are on the line,” said Emily Donovan, co-founder of Clean Cape Fear, at the Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board meeting yesterday. “DEQ and DHHS are not acting quickly enough.”

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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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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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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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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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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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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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