Environment

Environment
6:52 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Have A Seat: EPA Builds Air Monitor Bench

Tammi Masters and daughter, Rowan Jaynes, sit on new solar-powered air monitoring bench built by the EPA.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a new way to monitor air pollution and it includes a park bench.  There’s a new bench outside the South Regional Public Library in Durham . It’s the only one of its kind in the country.  If you sit down – and look up – you see solar panels and a spinning wind sensor.  And you can use your smart phone to scan a QR barcode to get up to the minute air quality stats.

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Environment
7:37 am
Fri June 21, 2013

African Visitors Tour Raleigh's 'Green' Transformation

Nkonzo Mhnongo of South Africa takes pictures of solar panels on Raleigh Convention Center rooftop.
Credit Leoneda Inge

For years, Raleigh has worked hard to transform itself into a city of environmental sustainability and innovation.  The capital city even created an Office of Sustainability and has been recognized nationally as a leader in the field.

A group of visitors from several countries in Africa are on a three week tour of the United States and stopped by Raleigh to see some of the city’s “green” transformation first-hand.

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The State of Things
11:14 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Why Are Honeybees Dying?

Honey Bees
Credit Clinton & Charles Robertson

The past year has been a bad one for America's honeybees, with commercial beekeepers reporting hive losses of up to 50 percent. Some blame the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder; others blame pesticides; and many scientists say we just don't know. 

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The State of Things
11:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Deadly Bat Disease Spreads In NC Caves

Little brown bat; close-up of nose with fungus, New York, Oct. 2008.
Credit Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

An emerging disease known as White Nose Syndrome has wiped out bats across the Northeast, and now it's spreading in the North Carolina mountains.

Mass bat die-offs could have huge implications for the state's ecology and economy.

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Environment
4:52 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

NC State Study: Genetic Diversity Key To Honey Bee Survival

Honey bees
Credit David Tarpy

Honey bee populations have been struggling in recent years. New research out of NC State underlines the importance of genetic diversity as key to the honey bees' survival. The study took samples from 80 commercial colonies used to pollinate about a third of the food we eat. It found queens that mated at least seven times were nearly three times more likely to survive the season.

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Environment
4:14 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Invasive Beetle Detected For First Time In NC Trees

Emerald ash borer found in Granville County
Credit NC Dept. of Agriculture

State agricultural officials have placed a quarantine on firewood from three counties due to a destructive insect infestation.  Pest control crews have found  evidence of a beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer for the first time in North Carolina.  It makes its home in ash trees and kills them over a period of two to three years.  The quarantine applies to any wood products made from ash trees in Granville, Person and Vance Counties. 

Phil Wilson of the state Agriculture Department says the bug spreads by flying from tree to tree or by lumber transportation.

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon June 17, 2013

New Tool Compares Fuel Costs For Electric & Non-Electric Cars

Electric vehicles spend about one third the amount a conventional car spends on fuel in North Carolina.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new tool on the US Department of Energy’s website allows users in each state to compare the price of power for an electric car to the cost of driving the same distance using gasoline. In North Carolina, a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel costs an average of $3.41. The equivalent amount of electricity costs about a third of that- an average of $1.02. That’s 12 cents less than the national average.

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Weather
8:03 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Power Out For Thousands As North Carolina Cleans Up From Storms

A satellite image of Thursday's storm as it advanced on North Carolina.
Credit National Weather Service, Raleigh / Facebook.com

Power was still out Friday morning for hundreds of thousands of people in North Carolina after severe storms. 

A fast-moving system swept across the state Thursday, knocking down trees and power lines.  Duke Energy Progress says nearly 60,000 people were without power Friday morning in Wake County.  Meteorologist Phil Badgett says damage reports came in quickly Thursday night.

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Environment
7:44 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Hold Your Nose, Heavy Rain Brings Sewer Overflow

An old sewer manhole sits at the top of Rothgeb Park in Raleigh.
Credit Leoneda Inge

The weather forecast for the Triangle calls for more severe thunderstorms in the coming week, but they likely won’t be as bad as last week, when a downpour from Tropical Storm Andrea flooded streets, caused weak trees to tumble and resulted in hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewer water overflowing.

Records show the city of Raleigh experienced one of the largest sewer system overflows because of Andrea. This comes at a time when the capital city is already spending millions of dollars trying to up-grade water and sewer infrastructure.

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Environment
5:21 am
Fri June 14, 2013

NC Pulls Out Of Drought

Until recently, North Carolina suffered extreme drought in much of the state.
Credit US Drought Monitor

Thanks to recent rainfalls associated with Tropical Storm Andrea, North Carolina is now out of drought or abnormally dry conditions for the first time in three years.

The persistent drought has wreaked havoc on agriculture, affecting apple crops in the western part of the state and corn in the east.

Now, thanks to Tropical Storm Andrea and other rain events this spring, the state is no longer suffering from even the mildest classification of drought condition – abnormally dry or “D-zero” - for the first time in the past three years.

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