environment

environment

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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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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Congress News Top Story

Summer hurricanes, wildfires and storms loom as FEMA faces pressure to step up

WASHINGTON — Another grueling summer disaster season is arriving, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is under intense pressure even as its portfolio balloons, it pleads for more money from Congress and criticism comes on several fronts. The agency manages more than 300 disaster declarations a year, a dramatic increase from the average of 108 disasters it responded to just a decade ago. For 2022, the disaster outlook is daunting.

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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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Original Commentary Top Story Weekly Briefing

Five simple Tax Day truths the political right would rather you not consider

If you’re not among the 7% or so of Americans who were expected to file for an extension, Tax Day 2022 has come and gone. Congratulations! While no one really enjoys paying taxes, April 15 – or as was the case this year, April 18 – marks an important annual moment in the life of our democracy.../p ...

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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

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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Environment News Top Story

Tiny particles, huge environmental problem: Micro-plastics found not only in the sea but in the Neuse River Basin

If the plastic food container that contained your lunch today winds up in the Neuse River, a local creek, or the Atlantic Ocean, 60 years from now people could find it, reasonably intact. The rest of the container will have degraded into micro-plastics — teeny particles that are visible only under a microscope. Fish or shrimp might have ingested those particles, filling their guts in place of food. People might have unknowingly drunk those plastic particles in water flowing from their taps.

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Environment Top Story

‘I had a panic attack,’ says Forsyth County official about air pollution from Weaver Fertilizer fire

Fertilizer chemicals also stored near other low-income neighborhoods, communities of color Thirty-six hours after a catastrophic fire broke out at the Weaver Fertilizer plant, the air in this Winston-Salem neighborhood was practically unbreathable. Levels of fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, peaked at more than 30 times the EPA’s eight-hour average.

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Environment Top Story

A company clear-cut vast tracts of mountain forest, jeopardizing the survival of a beloved, unique trout

Companies owned by Alleghany County-based Bottomley Properties have a long violation history; DEQ has yet to fine them for latest round of damage The brookies were in danger of dying. Last June, after the spring thaw and a hard summer rain, a torrent of mud, dirt and rock, in some spots two feet deep, had gushed into Ramey Creek and its tributaries, potentially suffocating the fish and/or destroying their home.

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Environment News Top Story

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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