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EPA

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

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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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 Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the state’s impaired, polluted waters

If you linked all the miles of impaired streams and rivers in North Carolina end to end, they would extend from the mountains to the sea four times. Add the total acreage of the state's impaired lakes, reservoirs and estuaries, and the breadth would equal nearly 2,000 golf courses.

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Environment News Top Story

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 Top Story

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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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 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

PW special report: The great methane debate and what it could mean for North Carolina

Environmental advocates want stronger regulation of the potent greenhouse gas, but Ag and energy interests are touting biogas

More than 2,200 industrialized hog farms and another 200-plus dairy operations in North Carolina are constantly belching untold amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, into the air.

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Environment Top Story

NC’s Michael Regan receives strong bipartisan support at Senate confirmation hearing

DEQ secretary appears headed for easy confirmation as federal EPA Administrator Several years ago, Michael Regan was giving his young son a bath when he remembered a conversation with Amy Brown. Brown, the mother of two young boys, lived near the Allen coal-fired power plant and had been living on bottled water for hundreds of days because her drinking water had become contaminated.

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Environment News Top Story

Industry released 39 million pounds of pollution into the environment last year, most of it into the air

North Carolina industry released the least amount of air pollution last year — 21.5 million pounds — since 2003, according to federal data released last week. Releases to land were also at 16-year lows, but discharges to waterways — 8.1 million pounds — were the highest since 2015. Releases for air, land and water totaled 39 million pounds.

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Environment News Top Story

DEQ Secretary Michael Regan is leading contender for top EPA job under Biden administration

Supporters, detractors grade Regan's performance as NC DEQ secretary A few days before state lawmakers confirmed Michael Regan as Secretary of the Environment in 2017, he appeared in Mebane, where he spoke to the West End Revitalization Association and other environmental justice advocates.

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Environment Top Story

Trump’s EPA chief headlines GenX discussion in Fayetteville with distinctly partisan overtones

Mostly Republican pols invited to hear Andrew Wheeler issue an Apprentice-stye challenge for new chemical clean-up solutions North Carolina is now into Year 4 of its GenX crisis — nearing the equivalent of a presidential term — since the residents of Cumberland, Bladen, Brunswick and New Hanover counties learned their drinking water was contaminated with toxic GenX discharging from the Chemours plant upstream.

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: Herbicide-tainted compost plaguing NC farmers and gardeners

Yard waste, specifically illegally sprayed grass, is suspected as a source The tomatoes grew necks like gourds. The leaves of the purple cornflower, a favorite of butterflies, were twisted and deformed. More plants — cucumbers, peppers, green beans, even the majestic Roselle Hibiscus — began to wither and fail. Earlier this summer throughout central and western North Carolina, gardeners flooded their neighborhood listservs, county extension offices and garden stores with complaints: Something was killing their plants, en masse.

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Environment Top Story

New research confirms presence of toxic “forever chemicals” in scores of NC water supplies

GenX study shows contamination in 80% of wells tested; mice studies show liver damage from Nafion Byproduct 2 Raw water supplies for at least 169 public utilities in North Carolina contained some level of toxic PFAS, underscoring the call by scientists to regulate the 5,000-plus perfluorinated compounds as a class and and amplifying new science showing their detrimental health effects on humans.

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Environment Top Story

PW investigates: Lack of transparency, scrutiny involving state agency’s Pesticide Section

North Carolina's dated and weak pesticide regulations do little to discourage the misuse of dangerous chemicals A few hours before dawn one March morning in 2013, Johnathan Covington woke to find his young daughter on the couch, crying. The night prior, an acrid smell had begun infiltrating the family home. Covington’s daughter said her eyes hurt and she couldn’t sleep.

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