Environment

Environment
10:05 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Duke Study Finds Contamination At PA Fracking Site

A rig and gas well operation at the Marcellus Shale in PA
Credit wcn 247 / Flickr

Groundwater and sediment from a natural gas fracking treatment site in Pennsylvania is contaminated with chemicals and radioactivity.

That's the finding of a new study at Duke University. Researchers examined the quality of shale gas wastewater from hydraulic fracturing in the stream water above and below a disposal site about an hour east of Pittsburgh. 

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Environment
3:26 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

NC Fights Invasive Beetle With Stingerless Wasp

An invasive pest, the emerald ash borer, found in Granville County
Credit NC Dept. of Agriculture

North Carolina is releasing wasps to fight an invasive beetle in ash trees. 

Forestry officials say the particular species of wasp is a natural enemy of the emerald ash borer.  The beetle was first found in North Carolina earlier this year.  It invades ash trees and kills them in two to three years.

Kelly Oten of the North Carolina Forest Service released 900 wasps, which naturally do not have stingers, Thursday morning.  She says the USDA is breeding them.

"They lay eggs in the larvae of the beetles and basically eat it from the inside out," Oten says.

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Environment
5:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

DENR Refuses Federal Water Quality Grants

Credit Environmental Protection Agency

North Carolina environmental officials have said "no" to a federal grant to check water quality in areas where fracking may occur.  The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources says the money from the EPA would only pay for salaries of people brought in to do testing. 

Division of Water Resources director Tom Reeder says DENR doesn't need them.

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Environment
5:09 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Raleigh To Replace Dams

This is an aerial picture of the Falls Lake Dam near Raleigh. City officials plan to replace four dams in the city other than this one next year.
Credit NC DENR

Engineers in Raleigh's Storm Water Utilities Department are planning to replace dams protecting some capital city neighborhoods.  Each project is expected to begin next year with costs into the millions of dollars.

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Environment
10:03 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Climate Change Speeding Up Life Cycles Of Trees

Credit City of Raleigh

Researchers at Duke University have found evidence that climate change is shortening the life cycles of trees in the U.S.

Research in tropical areas like Peru has suggested that trees are migrating to cooler areas by producing offspring in higher elevations or latitudes, but the latest study says most plants in the U.S. might not be able to move quickly enough to keep up with rising temperatures. 

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Environment
9:37 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Groups Protest Proposed Air Toxins Change

Credit eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons

A bill passed in the General Assembly last year could ease environmental restrictions on some industries including paper mills and power plants that are sources of air pollution.

If approved by state agencies, the measure would allow those industries to comply only with federal regulations and bypass separate state air toxins rules created in 1989. Environmental and community groups hope to stop the plan from going forward.

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Environment
5:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Hearings On Proposed Changes To Air Rules

Credit epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

There are public hearings on proposed changes to auto emissions tests and toxic air pollutant rules this week in Raleigh.

A bill that passed the legislature would exempt cars and light-duty trucks from their first three years of auto emissions tests. Right now cars and trucks are exempt only during their first year. That hearing is Wednesday evening. And another hearing is scheduled for Thursday on a bill that would change the state's rules for controlling toxic air pollutants.

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Environment
5:00 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Wet, Mild Summer Is Affecting Seasonal Offerings in North Carolina

Credit Gregory Vineyards

North Carolinians have had to endure bouts of mild but wet weather this summer.  That combination can help in some ways but can hurt in others. 

North Carolina wine growers specializing in muscadine varieties typically prefer dry weather with lots of sun.  Lane Gregory runs Gregory Vineyards in Angier.  He says up to 40 inches of rain fell on his muscadines in June and July.  Gregory says that has altered the balance in his yield.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Raleigh Approves Funding For More Propane Police Cars

An older model Raleigh police car. The department is converting some of its cars to run on propane.
Credit Alberto Rodriguez via Creative Commons

The Raleigh Police Department is adding propane tanks to more of its patrol cars after a two-year test run. 

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Environment
11:06 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Ram Named 'Bubba' Still On The Loose In Durham

Bubba the ram has been spotted several times in Durham in the past week. He's still on the run.
Credit Steve Sbraccia, WNCN News

There’s a ram on the loose in Durham County whose escape tactics have outsmarted capture attempts by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, a man with a tranquilizer gun and a local veterinarian with a lasso. The animal was first spotted near Odyssey Drive in Durham on Monday afternoon, August 25, and is thought to be a either a Barbados/Mouflon sheep or a Toggenburg goat. Deputy Paul Sherwin with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office was one of the officers who responded to Monday's call.

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