Environment

Environment
4:57 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Duke Energy Proposes Settlement Over Coal Ash Pond Leaks

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Credit Zen Sutherland

Duke Energy has reached a tentative settlement with state regulators regarding lawsuits over leaks from its coal ash ponds in Asheville and on the Catawba River.  The company has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.  The consent order would require the company to determine the cause and the extent of those leaks into groundwater and into Mountain Island Lake, the source of Charlotte’s water supply.  Susan Massengale with the state division of water quality says the agreement lays out a timeline for Duke to do that.

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Environment
7:43 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Getting To The Shore Of Cape Hatteras

The National Park Service has multi-million-dollar plans to create more beach access points.
Credit Outer Banks Real Estate / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Park Service wants to hear from the public about plans to create more beach access points at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

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Environment
2:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

New Study To Research Local Hurricane Evacuation Behaviors

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new survey will gather information about coastal residents' attitudes and behaviors regarding hurricane evacuations. For the next month, local and state emergency officials will be conducting phone interviews to find out how residents react to evacuations and how to better implement emergency practices, like transportation and sheltering decisions. The study is being conducted for North Carolina Emergency Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District. 

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Environment
5:17 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Frog Species Rapidly Disappearing From NC Piedmont

A southern cricket frog
Credit Matt Edmonds, creative commons

Southern cricket frogs are disappearing in the Piedmont of North Carolina at an alarming rate. Their disappearance mirrors a national trend that shows dwindling populations of all amphibians including other frog species, toads and salamanders. They play an important ecological role by feeding on pests and other insects.

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Environment
12:04 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Rip Currents Claim Seven Lives Over 4th of July Weekend

A typical rip current warning sign
Credit James Albright via Flickr, Creative Commons

Dangerous rip currents off the Carolina coast are to blame for the deaths of seven people over the 4th of July holiday. That number is double the average number of rip current deaths in a year. Community leaders are calling the tragedies a wake-up call and are trying to find ways to prevent future drownings.

Putting signs and red flags up at various beach access points is one of several ideas, says Anthony Marzano, the director of emergency services in Brunswick County, where four of the deaths took place. 

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Environment
4:20 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Croatan Earth First! Protests Fracking In Western NC

One of two wooden tripods built by protesters in front of an entrance to a chemical plant in Morganton, NC. A person was perched at the top of the contraption for several hours, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving the plant.
Credit Croatan Earth First

Members of an environmental group protested Monday morning at the site of a chemical plant in Morgantown about 80 miles northwest of Charlotte. Members of the group Croatan Earth First! demonstrated at the Momentive plant. The company makes chemicals, one of which is used in hydraulic fracturing, the controversial process of extracting natural gas from underground rock.

Protestors set up two large tripods in front of the main entrances in an effort to shut down the plant for the day.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

N.C. Hog Farm Neighbors File Nuisance Complaints

A USDA official meets with a hog farmer in Johnston County in 2011 to review animal waste management system.
Credit Bob Nichols, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Hundreds of people in eastern North Carolina have filed nuisance complaints against Smithfield Foods about the way hog farmers dispose of their waste. 

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Environment
5:17 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Chapel Hill Continues To Recover From Weekend Flooding

Flooding in Chapel Hill on Sunday
Credit Jstn568 / wunderground

Orange County continues to recover from weekend flooding, and officials are trying to secure relief funding for those displaced.

At a news conference today, Chapel Hill officials said close to 130 residences are unlivable due to water damage from weekend rain. It's unclear when, or if, people who lived in those units can go back home.

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Weather
7:24 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Chapel Hill, Durham Try To Absorb Record Rainfall

Several feet of flood waters trap cars on West Franklin St. in Chapel Hill Sunday afternoon.
Credit Bart Smith / Facebook

Residents of Orange and Durham counties are cleaning up after torrential rain led to flood waters several feet deep. 

Officials in Chapel Hill say rescuers evacuated at least 40 people Sunday from flooded homes and vehicles.  They were taken to a Red Cross shelter at Smith Middle School. 

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Environment
5:14 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Thunderstorms Continue, Bring Unusually High Amount Of Rain

Rain is predicted for most of North Carolina.
Credit screengrab, ABC News radar

Scattered storms are once again in the forecast for this afternoon. The pattern of late-day thundershowers each day is not so unusual, according to meteorologist Darrin Figursky from the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says what has been a bit atypical is the amount of widespread rainfall we've gotten as a result of these storms.

"Now a lot of that was probably due to the remnants of Andrea at the beginning of the month, where on one day we got four to five inches," Figursky says.  "So for the month with that in mind, we're running three to four inches above normal for the month. We're only maybe an inch or an inch or an inch and a quarter of being in the top five wettest Junes of all time."

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