Environment

The State of Things
12:26 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Air Quality Shapes Public Health

Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

Duke professor Dr. H. Kim Lyerly and News & Observer reporter Sarah Wheeler talk about Air Quality

  

Stronger emission controls in North Carolina are closely associated with declining death rates from respiratory illnesses like asthma and emphysema, according to a Duke University study released this week. 

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Study: Air Quality Restrictions Linked With Improved Respiratory Health

New research from Duke University shows a link between air quality restrictions and improved respiratory health in North Carolina.
Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

Duke University researchers have found a connection between state and federal air pollution restrictions and improved public health in North Carolina.

Duke Surgery Professor H. Kim Lyerly and his team evaluated disparate data from air quality monitoring stations and health statistics between 1993 and 2010. Lyerly said air quality improved, and so did respiratory health.

Accounting for seasonal changes and an overall drop in smoking, Lyerley said annual emphysema-related deaths dropped from 12-per-100,000 people, to five. Asthma and pneumonia-related deaths decreased, too.

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The State of Things
11:54 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Three Decades Of North Carolina Wilderness

Pisgah National Forest
Credit Flickr

A conversation with professor Robert Cox about N. C. Wilderness

Thirty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan signed the North Carolina Wilderness Act which protected nearly 100,000 acres of wilderness in the state. Robert Cox, former president of the Sierra club, was instrumental in the law’s passage.

He toured the state showing the following slideshow on the importance of wilderness. It was digitized by the North Carolina Sierra Club as part of the project, Our Wild North Carolina.

Of course, the North Carolina Wilderness Act was controversial at the time, just as many environmental issues are today. Human industry has historically locked horns with the rest of nature.

Today, Cox is a professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studies the rhetoric of environmentalism and social change. 

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The State of Things
12:22 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Film Shows Coal Ash Effects Across Country

Collapsed House Near Kingston Spill
Credit Wikipedia

A conversation with journalist and filmmaker Rhiannon Fionn

    

The coal ash spill in the Dan River earlier this year turned a public spotlight on the issue of coal ash disposal. The challenges around coal ash waste have existed in communities throughout the nation for decades.

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Environment
9:00 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Scientists Collar Asheville's Black Bears To Study Their Urban Population

NC State University and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission is studying the urban black bear population in Asheville.
Credit Casey Brown / Flickr/Creative Commons

NC State University and the Wildlife Resources Commission are catching bears that live in and around Asheville and tracking them using satellite collars. The five year study began in May and is the first of its kind in the Southeast.

The Wildlife Commission's Brad Howard said the urban bear study will help answer a lot of questions, not only for Asheville, but other developed areas where bears have been spotted lately, including Raleigh.

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Environment
8:16 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Durham Entices Residents To Scrap Gas Lawn Mowers

Durham is collecting old power tools to scrap. Gas powered lawnmowers can produce 11 times more harmful emissions than a car.
Credit kallerna / Wikipedia

Durham's "Get Your Grass Off Gas" campaign kicks off its fourth year next weekend. Each year, the city collects gas-powered yard equipment – like lawn mowers and weed whackers. They send those to the scrap yard and give residents discounts on new electric models.

City Sustainability Officer Tobin Freid says about 300 people have turned in gas-powered equipment over the past three years.

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The State of Things
12:52 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

NC Lawmakers Proposal Counter To US Supreme Court Water Contamination Ruling

Supreme Court of the United States
Credit Wikipedia

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that North Carolina homeowners could not proceed with their claims against CTS Corp. manufacturing plant because of the state's statute of repose. The ruling could have an effect on claims by individuals harmed by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

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Environment
5:20 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

What's The Best Way To Euthanize A Whale?

The first use of a new, more human method of euthanizing beached whales.
Credit Sarah Mallette

In 2009, a 30-foot long Right whale became stranded on Cape Lookout, N.C. For those who've never been, Cape Lookout is a remote beach, reachable only by boat or helicopter. The weather conditions were rough. During high-tide, the whale was completely submerged. During low-tide, it was completely exposed.

Craig Harms and his team of scientists had to catch a ride from a Coast Guard helicopter.

"The pilot asked me, 'How much time do you need?'" said Harms. "I said, 'I can do quite a bit in half an hour.' She said, 'You've got 10 minutes."

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Environment
8:52 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Families Remain Optimistic About Camp Lejeune Pollution Lawsuit

The US Supreme Court has upheld North Carolina's time limits regarding pollution-related lawsuits. The decision is a blow to families trying to sue over decades-old pollution at Camp Lejeune.
Credit Daderot / Wikipedia

The US Supreme Court has upheld North Carolina's limits on how long people have to file pollution-related lawsuits.

The case involved pollution connected with a CTS Corp. manufacturing plant in Asheville. But the decision undercut families trying to sue over groundwater pollution at Camp Lejeune.

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Environment
3:35 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

A Mystery Tree Grows In Chapel Hill

The coastal redwood in Chapel Hill.
Credit Parth Shah

For most people, taking care of the front yard means cutting the grass every few weeks.

But for Bill Massengale, lawn care involves looking after the lofty California coastal redwood growing in the front yard of his law office on Columbia Street.

“When we bought the place we were told that the only thing we had to do was to make sure nothing happens to the redwood,” Massengale says. “It’s one of my chief duties in life."

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