environment

environment

Environment Top Story

After years of delay EPA to commence clean-up of Superfund sites in Gastonia, Yadkinville, Charlotte and Jacksonville

The forest lay still, save for the rustling of leaves of bamboo. It was in a clearing on this 15 acres in rural Gastonia that Carl Hendrix, now deceased, scratched out a living. He took in old chemical drums from nearby industry, rinsed them, poured the toxic dregs on the ground, then flattened the metal for sale as scrap. Over the past 60 years the chemical TCE, found in solvents, has soaked through the earth, meandered through the subsurface rock, inched its way below Hemphill Road and contaminated at least eight private drinking water wells, plus another community well that served an entire neighborhood. TCE entered seeps that fed an unnamed creek where children used to play.,/p> ...

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Congress Environment News Top Story

GOP U.S. House passes bill opening more public land to development if reserve oil is tapped

U.S. House Republicans passed a bill Friday to force the White House to make more federal land and waters available for oil and gas development if the president orders the withdrawal of more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill, passed 221-205, mostly along party lines, would strip the president’s power to remove oil from the reserve unless the U.S. Energy Department has a plan to allow new leasing on federal lands and waters for oil exploration.

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Environment News Top Story

Offshore wind will need major investments in transmission, supply chain, reports say

Achieving the aggressive offshore wind power goals of the federal government and individual states will require billions of dollars in spending on transmission infrastructure, “unprecedented” cooperation between grid operators and federal and state agencies, and would be aided by major buildout of a domestic supply chain, per a pair of reports released this week. Coastal states across the country, from North Carolina to California to Louisiana to Maine, are pushing for offshore wind projects. But authors of the reports see potential bottlenecks looming, both in the supply chain to build and install turbines as well as in the ability to bring the electricity ashore.

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Environment News Top Story

Durham City Council rejects huge housing development proposal in Falls Lake watershed

Competing concerns over Triangle's housing shortage and fragile environment fuel 4-2 vote. The contentious Kemp Road project – 655 single-family houses and townhomes on 280 acres in the environmentally fragile Falls Lake watershed – is dead, at least temporarily. But before sticking a fork in the proposal, Durham City Council members dug into several underlying issues vexing residents of one of the fastest-growing areas in the country: housing, gentrification and race.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The most impactful agricultural story of 2022

Whew… what a year. If you closely follow ag doings, you know there’s plenty to talk about. If not, well let me get you caught up. First, three stories that fall just a wee bit short of the most impactful agricultural story of 2022.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Republicans fall short of a veto-proof legislative majority, but advocates foresee tough fights on several key issues

Close votes loom on bills impacting the environment, abortion rights, gun violence, public education, LGBTQ rights Republicans fell short of winning a supermajority in the state House, which may help preserve the strength of Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.   Republicans needed to pick up three seats in the 120-member House to win a supermajority, but fell short by one, the Associated Press reported.

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Environment News Top Story

Coal plant operators shirking responsibilities on ash cleanup, report contends

Duke Energy facility in NC cited as among the worst contamination sites, but company pushes back In the wake of major coal ash spills from power plant containment ponds in Tennessee and into the Dan River along the North Carolina and Virginia border, the federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 laid out the first federal rules for managing the ash, one of the nation’s largest waste streams, and the toxins it contains.

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Environment Top Story

Report shows contaminated groundwater is migrating toward Teer Quarry, site of Durham’s future water supply

High levels of several toxic chemicals have been detected in groundwater near Teer Quarry, storage site for Durham’s future water supply, and are migrating toward the pit itself, state documents show. However, it is still uncertain if these compounds will reach the quarry, and if so, at what concentrations. The contaminant of greatest concern is 1,4-Dioxane, a likely carcinogen.

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Environment Top Story

Small foundation wants to build museum on fragile public land at Jockey’s Ridge State Park — rent-free

With their wavy ridges, like a vast sandy potato chip, the 100-foot dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Dare County are a spectacular sight to behold. It is the tallest active natural sand dune system in the eastern US, built over 3,000 years by the forces of wind and water, shoals and storms. Now a fledgling foundation with few assets and scant income is proposing to build a $7 million, 12,000-square-foot museum on environmentally fragile park land.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Why North Carolinians deserve to have the “right to repair”

North Carolina farmers would have more to celebrate on this year's International Repair Day (which is scheduled for Saturday, October 15) if big business interests hadn’t succeeded, last July, in quashing a new proposed law contained in the original version of North Carolina’s 2022 Farm Act. The legislation would have added a new Article 9 to the state's consumer protection statutes -- a right-to-repair provision...

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

A tale of two realities

As the climate emergency worsens, grounds for hope and optimism continue to emerge It was the best of summers, it was the worst of summers. It was the summer the United Nations declared a healthy environment a universal human right, and a summer that shattered heat records across the globe. The U.S. enacted a historic climate bill not long after the Supreme Court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

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Environment News Top Story

Community members turn out in force to oppose proposed Yadkin granite mine

Board of Commissioners issues final ruling on controversial proposal to rezone 495 acres Craig Justus stood before the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners with the full force of a community behind him. “Tonight is a very important decision. I would consider this as a legacy vote,” Justus, an attorney representing opponents of a proposed granite mine, said.

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Environment Top Story

Moving the misery around: EPA approves plan to truck contaminated soil from one Black community to another

Contaminated soil from a Superfund site in Navassa will be shipped to one of three landfills outside Brunswick County, likely moving toxic pollution from one non-white or low-income community to another.  The proposed cleanup plan, approved by the EPA in late May, highlights the environmental injustices that occur when counties, regulators and polluters offload their problems to communities of color.

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Environment News Top Story

Old-growth trees on federal lands at risk despite Biden order, environmentalists say

Century-old trees in NC are on the hit list; could be clear-cut before protections take effect Plans for commercial logging of old-growth forests on federal lands have moved forward this year, despite an executive order signed on Earth Day by President Joe Biden, according to a report from environmental groups published Tuesday.

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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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