Environment

Environment
8:07 am
Sun April 27, 2014

Tornado In Eastern NC: "If My Husband Hadn't Been Holding On, It Would Have Sucked Me Out."

Winds as fast as 135 mph ripped roofs off of single family homes.
Blair Busby

More than a dozen people were taken to hospitals and an estimated 200 homes were severely damaged or destroyed following multiple tornado touchdowns in Eastern North Carolina on Friday. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-3 tornado touched down in Beaufort county. Other EF-2 tornadoes hit Beaufort and Pitt counties. Some of the worst damage was experienced in Chocowinity - a town of about 800 people, considered part of 'Little' Washington area.

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Environment
10:50 am
Wed April 23, 2014

This Is How Much Money It Would Cost To Relocate Duke Energy’s 33 Coal Ash Dumps

A map of Duke Energy's 33 coal ash ponds and their operational status in 14 energy plants across the state.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy told North Carolina law makers Tuesday that it would cost up to $10 billion and could take 30 years to remove all the company’s coal ash from areas near rivers and lakes across the state.  

In a hearing called specifically to address the coal ash basins, Duke’s North Carolina President Paul Newton told law makers the company needed flexibility to find faster and less costlier alternatives to ensure its ash won’t contaminate bodies of water.

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Environment
7:28 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Oregon Inlet Is Too Shallow To Dredge

The Oregon Inlet is too shallow to dredge, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Credit Vbofficial / Wikipedia

Dredging has been suspended in the Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the water is too shallow to allow the dredge access to the main channel.  Raymond Pugh owns Fin-Nagle Fishing Charters in Nags Head.  He said his boat is small enough to get through, but larger commercial fishing boats are having trouble and that's hard on the local economy.

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The State Of Things
3:42 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Environmental Issues Update: The Future of NC Coal Ash, Fracking, And Jordan Lake

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

WUNC capitol reporter Jorge Valencia talks about North Carolina environmental legislation

    

    

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has finalized their recommendations on fracking in the state to the General Assembly. Critics argue the commission needs more time as the health effects of fracking are unknown. In addition, the state commission tasked with deciding the methods of Jordan Lake clean-up remains undecided on next steps. And Governor McCrory proposes legislation to close or convert the state’s 33 coal ash ponds. 

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Environment
5:06 am
Thu April 17, 2014

NC’s Mining Commission Is On Track To Usher Fracking Wells By Spring 2015

A hydraulic fracturing site near Shreveport, La.
Credit Daniel Foster via Flickr

The commission that’s been writing North Carolina’s policies on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas rushed on Wednesday to complete a set of rules that are necessary for drilling to start in the state next year.

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Environment
4:53 am
Thu April 17, 2014

NC Law Makers Offer No New Solutions To Clean Pollution From Jordan Lake

The state commission overseeing plans to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last meeting.
Credit JT Taylor / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state commission that’s been looking at ways to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last hearing on Wednesday.

Government and business leaders from towns that use the lake for drinking water urged the committee to reinstate regulations on the water that is poured into the lake.

The state has suspended some requirements until 2016. They would require costly improvements to storm water drainage in in areas including Greensboro and Burlington.

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Environment
5:05 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Fossil Takes A Bite Out Of Theory That Sharks Barely Evolved

This mako shark looks like its ancient ancestors, but it's probably evolved to be even more terrifying.
Sam Cahir Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:59 pm

Sharks have looked more or less the same for hundreds of millions of years. But a newly discovered fossil suggests that under the hood, a modern shark is very different from its ancient ancestors.

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Environment
8:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

North Carolina’s Rules On Fracking To Be Completed This Year, Well Permits To Be Issued Next Year

A drilling site in Rio Blanco and Garfield counties, CO.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service via Flickr

The commission that’s writing North Carolina’s rules on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or fracking, is getting ready to present its recommendations to the General Assembly. The Mining and Energy Commission has been working since Sept. 2012, and today will debate the last eight rules it is preparing.

A few people like Sharon Garbutt have been following the Mining and Energy Commission. Garbutt has been volunteering to take children on field trips to the Haw River for 20 years. Most of the time, the kids love it.

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Environment
9:11 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Federal Cuts Slow Dredging, Fishing At Oregon Inlet

Federal funding cuts are limiting the state's ability to dredge the Oregon Inlet.
Credit Vbofficial / Wikipedia

Federal budget cuts are making it harder to keep a shipping channel open on the Outer Banks.  Fishermen use the channel to get in and out of Oregon Inlet under the Bonner Bridge. 

Bob Sattin is the Chief of Operations with the Wilmington District of the Army Corp of Engineers.  He said one dredge is working to clear the inlet, but paying for it is a problem.

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Environment
8:56 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Some Energy Speculators Drop Drilling Leases In Lee County

North Carolina has not yet allowed drilling for natural gas in its Triassic shale basins.
Credit NC DENR

Energy speculators snapped up natural gas drilling leases over Lee County's Triassic shale in a frenzy in 2009. But some energy speculators have begun relinquishing their claims.

In February, Denver-based WhitMar Exploration walked away from a leasing agreement for more than 2,700 acres. That's according to records at the Lee County Register of Deeds.

WhitMar declined to comment to WUNC, but told other media outlets that North Carolina is moving too slowly on hydraulic fracturing.

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