Environment

Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will hold a national conference to look more closely at chemical compounds in water.

A sign at the entrance of the Fayetteville Works site on N.C. 87 in Bladen County, North Carolina.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

State regulators are testing fish from a privately-owned lake near the Chemours plant in Bladen County for the presence of GenX, the latest regulatory response to increasing questions about the risks posed by this emerging contaminant.

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy has committed $500,000 to help replace inefficient wood-burning stoves in Western North Carolina.

File photo of sand being removed from highway N.C. 12 on Ocracoke Insland, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011 after Hurricane Irene.
Jim R. Bounds / AP

Parts of North Carolina Highway 12 on the Outer Banks have closed again due to ocean over wash.

photo of Lauret Savoy
Kris Bergbom

Many Americans learn their history through teachers, textbooks and films. Personal histories, however, often come from stories told amongst families. But what if pieces of a personal history are still missing from those stories? And who decides which stories to pass on and which to bury?

A map of Duke Energy's 14 coal ash sites and their operational status in 14 energy plants across the state.
Duke Energy

The North Carolina Utilities Commission will begin hearings on a rate hike request for one subsidiary of Duke Energy after recently approving a 6 percent increase for another.

Map of the east coast showing the outer continental shelf where drilling would occur.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding an open house in Raleigh Monday afternoon to solicit public feedback on a plan to open up the coast to oil and gas exploration.

Duke Energy says the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline is on track to open in late 2019, even though it's still awaiting final state and federal approvals. But CEO Lynn Good said delays and more stringent conditions from regulators have pushed the project's price tag up - to between $6 billion and $6.5 billion.

A sign at the entrance of the Fayetteville Works site on N.C. 87 in Bladen County, North Carolina.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

State representatives are clearly frustrated with senate colleagues for failing to support house legislation aimed at better regulating emerging chemicals like GenX. But lawmakers will have to wait until the short session in May to take a stab at bridging the gap between the two chambers.

two coyotes
Courtesy of eMammal

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has wrapped up public comment for its draft coyote management plan.

Cape Fear River at Raven Rock State Park NC
Keith Weston / WUNC

North Carolina environmental regulators have ordered a chemical company to take further steps to reduce emissions of chemicals that have questionable health effects.

Photo of Michael Scott at microphone
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Last week state officials held a public forum in Bladen County to share information and address concerns about GenX, the unregulated chemical produced by Chemours that has contaminated drinking water. Many residents said they left with more questions than answers.

Concerned residents gather during a public forum at the Bladen Community College to discuss GenX on February 1, 2018.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Bladen County residents like Kellie Hair were not happy when state officials said it would take more time to figure out the health and environmental impact of GenX and other fluorinated compounds released into the atmosphere by Chemours.

A picture of segments of pipeline.
Harald Hoyer / Creative Commons

Crews have started cutting down trees to make way for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Photo of two women holding signs
Anne Meador / Flickr Creative Commons

After months of deliberation, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has granted an important permit for the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The 401 water quality permit will allow developers Dominion Energy and Duke Energy to construct the pipeline along the I-95 corridor as long as they adhere to certain water quality standards. More permits are required for construction to begin, but opponents were hoping the state would withhold the water permit, which could have stopped construction of the pipeline even with its federal approval.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber, File / AP

The state Department of Environmental Quality has issued a major permit two energy companies need to build the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Hungry Harvest, Food, Produce, Farmers, Ashley Christensen
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A new food delivery service in the Raleigh-Durham area specializes in distributing fruits and vegetables with cosmetic imperfections. Evan Lutz is the CEO of Hungry Harvest. Its mission is to rescue produce farmers can’t sell because of a surplus or because it’s just too ugly.

A sign at the entrance of the Fayetteville Works site on N.C. 87 in Bladen County, North Carolina.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

For many people in North Carolina, Chemours is synonymous with contamination of drinking water. News surfaced last year that the chemical manufacturer released GenX and other emerging contaminants into the Cape Fear River for years without knowing how they could affect humans. GenX has also ended up in residential wells near the company’s plant in Bladen County.

an offshore drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico
Robert Seale, Maersk Drilling / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/mU1Qdz

Gov. Roy Cooper has vowed to take legal action if the Trump Administration does not exempt North Carolina from offshore oil and gas exploration.

winnow ant
Alex Wild

According to Eleanor Spicer Rice, ants have a range of personalities, from team player to charismatic. What she will not call them, however, are pests. 

Nags Head
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein – both Democrats – are calling for the federal government to grant the state a waiver from the Trump Administration’s recently released plan for offshore oil and gas exploration.

Lanier Falls Cape Fear River, Raven Rock NC
bobistravelling / Flickr - Creative Commons

Ted Davis knows any legislation needs to get through a sharply divided General Assembly.

The Wilmington Republican who chairs the Select Committee on North Carolina River Quality has said more controversial issues like funding for the Department of Environmental Quality can come later.

Marcus Yensen, security officer at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. He planned to bundle up this week as he makes his daily rounds
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The North Carolina Coastal Plain is gripped by a cold snap that hasn't been seen in almost a century.

A picture of gift wrapping supplies
PPD / pixnio.com/miscellaneous/wrapping-paper

Christmas is no time to take a holiday from recycling. That's according to Raleigh Environmental Coordinator Bianca Howard.

FILE - In a Tuesday June 6, 2017 file photo, hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its final environmental impact statement.
Steve Helber, File / AP

Duke Energy and Dominion Energy have filed court documents to acquire land via eminent domain for construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. 

Early morning anglers heading downstream from Avent's Ferry on the Cape Fear River, near Corinth, North Carolina.
Donald Lee Pardue / Flickr/Creative Commons

Updated 5:40 p.m. | Dec. 5, 2017

The unregulated compound found in more than 80 drinking water wells near a chemical company's manufacturing facility in North Carolina has been found in a food product for the first time.

An aerial picture of the Port of Wilmington
Wikimedia

Republicans and democrats in the sharply divided General Assembly might finally be able to find some common ground: Punishing Chemours, the DuPont-spinoff company that has contaminated drinking water in the Wilmington area and in residential wells in the vicinity of its Fayetteville plant.

The Dan River bank with residual dark grey coal ash.
Steven Alexander / USFWS

Duke Energy argued this week in hearings before the North Carolina Utilities Commission that the cost of cleaning up coal ash spills should be passed on to consumers. 

red wolf and pup
Brooke Gilley, US Forest Service / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/rT5zJf

In 1980 red wolves were declared extinct in the wild, but a special program to preserve the population helped stop the species from dying out. Now U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina is asking the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to terminate the program, and he is not alone in his desire. 

Duke Energy's coal-burning plant and the adjacent coal ash ponds by the Dan River.
Riverkeeper Foundation

Hearings continue this week in Duke Energy's request for a rate hike, and among the costs that the utility is trying to recover is nearly $2 million for bottled water it provides to homeowners near coal ash pits. 

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