water pollution

water pollution

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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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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Environment News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the problem of contaminated drinking water wells in NC

Under a special state fund 658 drinking water wells were sampled for contamination, many of them in Wake County Since 2007 state regulators have sampled more than 5,500 private wells for potential contamination under the Bernard Allen Memorial Emergency Drinking Water Fund, according to an annual report filed by the Department of Environmental Quality. The state legislature created the fund -- named after a former Wake County state legislator -- in 2006.

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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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Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: Alarming levels of lead in drinking water at UNC-Chapel Hill

Last month, UNC-Chapel Hill detected lead in the water coming from the drinking fountains in the campus’ Wilson Library. After removing the fountains and expanding testing, this month the university has documented lead in fountains and sinks from a half-dozen campus buildings.

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Environment

NC Attorney General’s Office argues that DuPont’s holding companies should also be on the hook for PFAS liabilities in NC

The historical DuPont corporation -- known in court records as "Old DuPont" -- has parked roughly $20 billion in two “paper companies” (which have no employees, offices or equipment) to shield those assets from legal liability, a lawyer for the North Carolina Attorney General argued before the state Supreme Court today.

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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 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Mountaire chicken slaughter plant overwhelming Siler City wastewater treatment facility, which has incurred 80 violations, $110K in fines

State has imposed a moratorium on the Siler City facility for chronic noncompliance, preventing new sewer connections for new industry, housing Downstream from the Siler City wastewater treatment plant, sickness had beset the Rocky River. At least 30 fish, including the Eastern shiner and some species of chub, "were observed with lesions and appeared stressed," Tim Savidge, an aquatic biologist wrote in his field notes to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. "Gasping, irregular swimming, etc."

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Environment News Top Story

Increased algal blooms in June lead the state to investigate two important NC lakes

Hotter summers spurred by climate change are likely making more and more bodies of water in NC unsafe There have been more than 300 public reports of algal blooms in North Carolina this year, 100 in June alone, according to the NC Department of Environmental Quality. And climate change could be at least partly responsible.

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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 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 News Top Story

Yadkin County residents dig in for a fight against a proposed mine near homes, elementary school

After living all over North Carolina, Terry and Joyce Long finally came home.  In 2020, they bought a tract of land in Hamptonville adjacent to property that had been in Joyce’s family for five generations. Joyce grew up in this Yadkin County town of just 6,100 people, and now she and Terry could raise their four children here, a quiet, rural idyll of forests and farms and night skies that light up with stars.

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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 Top Story

Legal notice alleges Active Energy discharging PFAS into Lumber River; Commerce Dept concerned over wood pellet company viability

Active Energy Renewable Power, a wood pellet plant beset by regulatory, legal, and operational troubles, is allegedly discharging high levels of toxic PFAS into the Lumber River, a drinking water supply for 25,000 people in Robeson County. The company is also allegedly discharging the compounds into Jacob’s Branch, a tributary of the Lumber River.

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Environment News Top Story

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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