Environment

Environment
5:00 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Efforts To Protect Watershed Get Complicated

Wake County Commissioners' efforts to reduce the amount of pollution in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake got a little complicated this week.

Gurnal Scott: Both lakes are considered polluted because of excessive nutrients washed in by stormwater runoff. They are primary sources of Wake County’s drinking water. Commissioners approved new rules requiring developers to use more retention ponds to prevent further pollution. But this week, state lawmakers delayed action on clean water rules. Commissioner Tony Gurley was surprised by that.

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Environment
9:54 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Environmental Group Pushes for Cleaner Coastal Water

An environmental group wants North Carolina's coastal water to be cleaner. The Natural Resources Defense Council's new report on water quality says about three percent of the samples at twelve beaches exceeded bacteria levels set by the EPA. That's better than the national average of eight percent. Jon Devine is an attorney with the NRDC. He says the biggest cause of pollution on the coast is storm water runoff, but there are solutions.

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Environment
6:05 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Accelerating Electric Cars Into More Cities

Transportation officials from eight states are meeting in Raleigh today to brainstorm how to accelerate the use of electric cars.

Asma Khalid: If you drive around Raleigh-Durham, you've probably noticed a few electric car charging stations.  But, that's not typical for most states. Since January 2011, approximately 30,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the entire country. So, clearly the Triangle is ahead of the curve. Judi Greenwald is with the center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Her group is cosponsoring the Raleigh meetings.

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Environment
4:00 am
Tue June 12, 2012

New Wildlife Refuge Proposed for Western NC

North Carolina's Western counties are home to one of the country's rarest natural habitats, mountain bogs. As Asma Khalid reports, the federal government is on a mission to preserve this unusual landscape by creating a national wildlife refuge in Southern Appalachia.

Asma Khalid: If you've never visited a mountain bog, think of a mini swamp, but isolated and patchy. Mountain bogs breed diverse creatures, and sometimes even endangered species.

Gary Peeples works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Asheville.

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Environment
9:05 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Controversial Sea Level Bill Advances in Legislature

A bill that directs the state to disregard most scientific predictions of rising sea levels for coastal planning purposes is headed for the Senate floor. The bill has been ridiculed nationally by scientific groups and the comedian Stephen Colbert. Republican Senator David Rouzer is the bill's main sponsor.

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Environment
6:00 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Senate Lawmakers Pass Fracking Bill

Senate lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state.

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Environment
4:05 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Legislative Committee Passes Fracking Bill

A bill that could allow natural gas "fracking" to proceed in two years in the state is on its way to the Senate floor. It would allow a controversial method of horizontal drilling for natural gas. The Clean Energy and Economic Security Act passed the Senate Commerce Committee earlier today, despite the presence of protesters who spilled outside the committee room where the bill was being heard. Bill Weatherspoon, who heads the North Carolina Petroleum Council, says fracking will help residents become more independent of foreign energy sources.

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Environment
6:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Duke Study: Burning Trees Not Carbon Neutral

In recent years, wood burning has gained popularity as a carbon neutral alternative to fossil fuels. But new research from Duke University suggests it's not as green as it seems.

Asma Khalid: We all know trees absorb carbon dioxide. So, the thought is that when you burn wood, you're transferring already-existing carbon from trees into the air. And that carbon is ingested by new trees. True. But, that takes a really long time. Plus, burning wood releases less energy, so you need to burn more of it.
Steve Mitchell is the lead scientist on the study.

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Environment
6:05 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Global North Carolina "Heat-Map"

UNC’s Center for International Understanding has partnered with SAS to develop a new tool to better understand the state’s “global” footprint.

Leoneda Inge:  The Global North Carolina Heat Map is believed to be the first of its kind.  Adam Hartzell is executive director of The Center for International Understanding.   He says the idea is to find out how global we really are.  

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Environment
8:55 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Large-Scale Menhaden Fishing Banned

A ban goes into effect today on an industrial-scale method of fishing for menhaden off the North Carolina coast. The ban was approved earlier this month by the state Marine Fisheries Commission. Patricia Smith is with the state Division of Marine Fisheries.

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