Environment

Environment
1:15 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Coal Ash Commission: Cost Will Be Felt By All

The Coal Ash Management Commission met for the first time on Friday.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The North Carolina Coal Ash Commission has begun the process of creating rules and regulations to manage the cleanup of Duke Energy’s 32 coal ash ponds.

The Commission has a huge job. Among other things, Commission Chair Michael Jacobs made it clear that cost will be a consideration.

“To the extent that cleanup costs are passed on to the residents and businesses of North Carolina through higher power rates, everyone who uses power will share the expense,” Jacobs said.

Duke Energy has said it would cost $10 billion to move coal ash from all sites.

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Environment
9:33 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Lawyer Now Assisting State On Coal Ash Previously Represented Duke Energy On Same Issue

Craig Bromby
Credit Hunton & Williams LLP

A lawyer advising North Carolina's environmental agency on rewriting clean-up rules for Duke Energy's coal ash dumps previously represented the electricity company on the same issue.

Craig Bromby was hired in June at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He retired in March as a partner at the Raleigh office of Hunton & Williams, where his corporate clients included Duke.

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Environment
6:13 am
Fri November 14, 2014

NC Coal Ash Committee Meets: Here’s One Of The First Decisions Needed

Duke Energy's Dan River coal ash basin.
Credit Steven Alexander, USFWS

The long road to determining how Duke Energy will clean up its 32 coal ash ponds starts today. The Coal Ash Management Commission holds it first meeting in Chapel Hill.

Among the many decisions the Commission will make is classifying the ponds as low, intermediate, or high-risk.

“The classification is really going to drive what the final closure plan looks like,” says Robin Smith, an environmental attorney and a former assistant secretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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Environment
5:00 am
Fri November 14, 2014

LISTEN: How A Refrigerator Gets Into A Manhole, And Other Raleigh Sewage Secrets

Credit Evan Blaser / Flickr/Creative Commons

Scott Huler explores city infrastructure for his new book, On the Grid. Listen to the stories of what's been found in Raleigh's sewers:

Here's an excerpt from the book:

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The State of Things
12:08 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Offshore Drilling In North Carolina

Oil drilling
Credit Wikipedia

  

In 2015, oil industry representatives will begin exploration off the Carolina coastlines. Some of those representatives met with government officials last week in Raleigh. But the details around their closed-door meeting are scant. Supporters say the potential drilling could create jobs and revenue for the state but environmentalists maintain that drilling harms humans and wildlife. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC environmental reporter Dave Dewitt about the latest.

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Environment
3:48 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Commission Tweaks Fracking Rules

The commission tasked with drafting the rules for hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina is considering some small changes. The Mining and Energy Commission is meeting today and tomorrow in Raleigh.

Over the past several months, the MEC received more than 200,000 comments from nearly 40,000 people. Many wanted an outright fracking ban; others pointed to more specific rule changes they wanted, like requiring pits that store fracking waste to be capped.

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The State of Things
12:12 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

The Future Of National Forests In Western North Carolina

The Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina is one of the state's four national forests. Both the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests are currently undergoing an extensive re-planning process.
Credit Flickr/Jeff Gun

    

The Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in western North Carolina play an integral role in the state’s environment and economy. 

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The State of Things
12:07 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Maybe It Is Time To Take A Stroll

A man out on a mission to hand his Walk [Your City] signage in Charleston.
Credit flickr.com/photos/125627375@N04

Lots of cities cater to populations that prefer to drive.

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Environment
12:58 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Raleigh Voters Approve Updated Parks

Credit Grant MacDonald / Flickr/Creative Commons

Raleigh voters have approved a $92-million bond referendum to improve parks and recreational facilities in the capital city.  The measure was solidly supported, 68 percent to 32 percent.

Voters' approval will mean a rise in property tax of 1.72 cents that will go into effect next July.

Funds from that tax increase will also pay for acquisition of new park land and new construction.  The plans for improvement are detailed in a new System Plan adopted by the Raleigh City Council.

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The State of Things
1:37 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

What To Do With A Surplus Of Hog Waste In Eastern North Carolina

A hog waste lagoon in Beaufort County, NC. The lagoon turns pink when bacteria colonize the waste.
Credit DefMo / Flickr Creative Commons

  

It’s been an environmental quandry for years: what to do hog waste in North Carolina.

The state is home to nearly 9 million hogs, which produce massive amounts of waste.

Some of it goes back onto the farms of eastern North Carolina as fertilizer, but much of it is stored in open-air lagoons, which have been known to contaminate groundwater and produce a putrid smell for nearby homes.

A new technology exists to convert the waste into energy but it is not affordable for most hog farmers.

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