Environment

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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Environment
7:51 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Advocates' Report Critical Of NC Wood Pellet Mill

Wetlands in eastern North Carolina. Environmental groups say the wood pellet companies like Enviva could harm plant and animal life there. Enviva says it takes steps to protect the environment.
Credit Gary Dincher / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmental groups say a wood pellet mill in eastern North Carolina is threatening sensitive forests. 

A report and series of maps from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Dogwood Alliance says the company Enviva is clear-cutting wetland forests for wood near its facility in Ahoskie. 

Enviva breaks down wood material to pellets and sells them to European countries, which burn them to generate electricity.  The groups say Enviva is using whole trees in addition to tree tops or limbs.

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Environment
2:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

US Fish & Wildlife Service Urges Protection For Rare NC Moth And Fish

The rattlesnake-master borer moth has been listed as a candidate for the Endangered Species List. It's found in Pender County, NC.
Credit William Glass

Officials with the US Fish & Wildlife Service made two big announcements concerning North Carolina this month: they determined that a very rare moth found in one county near the coast warrants placement on the Endangered Species List, and they are awarding the state two grants to help with wildlife conservation.

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Environment
6:59 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Cleantech, Smart Grid Growing In The Triangle

The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster was started to spur growth in the smart grid and energy sectors.
Credit RTRP Cleantech Cluster

Smart water, energy and electric vehicles are turning out to be a major growth sector in the Research Triangle region.

Charles Hayes is President and CEO of The Research Triangle Regional Partnership.  He says all the growth in smart grid and clean technology caught them by surprise.

“We quite frankly didn’t know what we had until people from around the world started calling us and asking us to be involved in various things.  So you know, we said, let’s do a little studying and see what we have here," said Hayes.

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Environment
4:33 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Record Rainfall Stunts Crop Growth Across The State

Heavy rain is affecting farm yields across the state.
Credit mystuart via Flickr, creative commons

Record rainfalls across much of North Carolina have resulted in poor crop growth. When there's too much moisture, root systems often don't get a chance to develop fully, and certain nutrients, like nitrogen, also tend to be depleted.

Carl Crozier, soil science professor and extension specialist at N.C. State, says it's a complex issue because of all the different types of soil in North Carolina.

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Environment
9:14 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Carteret County Threatens Legal Action Over New Federal Loggerhead Turtle Protections

Credit Wendell Reed, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Carteret County's Board of Commissioners voted file a letter of intent to sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service over new protections for the loggerhead sea turtle. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering declaring parts of Carteret County a critical habitat for the turtles. They are currently designated as a threatened species by the Endangered Species Act.

The Carteret County Shore Protection Office claims that existing protections for loggerhead turtles are enough, and that new guidelines would hurt business and tourism in the area. Pete Benjamin, who directs the Raleigh Field Office of the Fish and Wildlife Service, says the new rules will only affect federal activity.

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The State of Things
12:14 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Documentarians Track The Trail Of Trash

Debris left in the wake of the destructive EF5 tornado that hit Moore, OK in 2013.
Margaret Morales and Phil Corrigan

In the 1950s, the Keep America Beautiful campaign encouraged Americans to stop littering and simply throw away their trash.

But where exactly is that "away"? Once we toss something into a garbage or recycling bin, it leaves our lives, but where does it go?

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