Environment

Environment
5:50 am
Tue November 5, 2013

EPA Hosts Disaster Clean-Up Experts

Michael Shannon, an U.S. Coast Guard marine science technician, takes a water sample at a Sewaren, N.J., oil refinery, which leaked after Hurricane Sandy struck the region 2012. Scientists who help design mass disaster response tools are meeting at RTP this week.
Credit U.S. Department of Defense

Some of the country’s top scientists in mass-disaster clean-up are meeting in Research Triangle Park this week to talk about decontaminating materials laced with biological, chemical and radiological agents. 

The gathering, scheduled for today and tomorrow at the EPA’s facilities in RTP, is expected to include about 200 scientists who design response tools and the professionals from agencies such as FEMA that use them, said Gregory Sayles, who heads the EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center.

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Environment
6:27 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

For Downtown Raleigh Churches, Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon May Mean Undue Penance

The starting line of the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half-Marathon
Credit Competitor Group

On a Sunday morning in early June, thousands of endurance athletes ran through downtown Raleigh in the city’s Ironman Triathlon. This Sunday, thousands are expected for the City of Oaks Marathon. And on a Sunday next April, many more could show for the first Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon. 

Hundreds of downtown churchgoers, whose churches are surrounded by street closings for event routes, have wound up in gridlock.  For the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon, which features live bands and cheerleaders, even more worshippers than usual will be looking for a way in because the event is scheduled for April 13th -- Palm Sunday.  

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The State of Things
11:54 am
Tue October 29, 2013

How Is Climate Change Affecting Tropical Forests?

Manu National Park is the size of Massachusetts. It's considered one of the most biologically diverse places on earth.
Justin Catanoso

Justin Catanoso reports on how climate change is affecting tropical forests in Peru.

Melting ice caps at the poles are not the only concern when thinking about global warming. Increasingly, scientists are realizing that the impact of rising temperatures on tropical forests is just as dramatic.

On a rain forest mountain top where I had just seen woolly monkeys swinging through the trees, I asked Wake Forest biologist Miles Silman if we were simply putting too much greenhouse gas in the air to slow or halt the inevitable march of climate change.

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Environment
10:51 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

N.C. Conservationists To Begin Coastal Cleanup Project in 2014

North Carolina's Marine Patrol will get help next year in removing trash from coastal waterways.
Credit NC DENR

Conservation groups will begin an effort next year to clear debris from North Carolina waterways.  Fishermen have told coastal organizations that many spots where they drop lines are littered with old crab pots and debris hidden deep in the water. 

The North Carolina Coastal Federation is leading a two-year project to clean up state waters from StumpyPoint to the Virginia line.  Ladd Bayliss is one of the federation's coastal advocates.

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Weather
7:49 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Tropical Storm Karen Dissipates, NC Dodges Most Effects

Tropical Storm Karen as it moved over Florida Saturday.
Credit NASA

The remnants of Tropical Storm Karen are floating over the east coast and dropping light rain in western North Carolina. 

The storm dissipated as it moved over the gulf coast this weekend.  Meteorologist Brandon Vincent says a cold front will push rain from Karen toward central and eastern North Carolina Monday.

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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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