Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Two proposals in the State Legislature would have a significant impact on the so-called Jordan Lake Rules. The rules were passed in 2009 and were designed to reduce polluted runoff into the lake, among other regulations. Jordan Lake has been on the federal list of impaired waterways since 2002.

One provision in the current Senate budget would delay the implementation of the Jordan Lake Rules for two years. The rules have been delayed previously in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

red wolf
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Conservation groups notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today that they intend to sue the federal agency over its management of the Red Wolf Recovery Program.

The groups say the Fish and Wildlife Service has failed in its responsibility to protect red wolves. The nearly 30-year old program is an effort to re-introduce the animals that were extinct in the wild.

Coal-burning factories next to a marsh
Alan Cressler

Environmental scientists from the local, national and international levels will convene at North Carolina State University to discuss climate change and its impact on agriculture. A panel will discuss topics such as agricultural risk management and the economic impact of climate change to North Carolina and the southeast.

Black Tip sharks feed on the coast near Cape Lookout.
Shark Attack News

When Virginia Dare, America’s original “anchor baby,” was born on Roanoke Island in the 1500s, top-level predators were everywhere in the area now known as North Carolina.

Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Solar installation companies are calling on Duke Energy and the General Assembly to continue a tax cut they say is key to their future.

When combined with a 30 percent federal tax break, the state’s 35 percent tax credit has propelled North Carolina to become one of the top four states in the country for installed solar capacity, behind only California, Arizona, and New Jersey.

Faith Community Church
NC Warn

By any measure, the solar array on the roof of the Faith Community Church in Greensboro is small. A little more than five kilowatts. It’s barely enough to run the building’s central air conditioning for one hour a day.

The Bonner Bridge connects Bodie and Hatteras Islands on the Outer Banks

The last legal obstacles have been cleared to begin the process of rebuilding the Bonner Bridge.

Governor Pat McCrory announced today that the final terms have been settled between the state and environmental groups. The 52-year old Bonner Bridge spans the Oregon Inlet.

“This marks another historic milestone in finally replacing the critical lifeline bridge for residents and visitors of the Outer Banks and supporting our continued efforts to connect North Carolina,” McCrory said in a press release. 

Marshall Steam Station
Duke Energy

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has released more test results of water wells near three Duke Energy power plants.

NC Dept of Agriculture

Farmers gamble millions—sometimes tens of millions —of dollars on the weather every year. When they place their bets on crops and animals, they look at the science, they listen to experts, and sometimes they think about stories their mama used to tell them.

heat index
Climate Central

It’s the south, and it’s August. That means it’s hot. But if you’ve lived here a while and you think it’s worse than usual, you’re right.

This decade (2010-2014) has already had as many 95+ degree days as the Triangle experienced during the entire 1980s. That’s according to an analysis from meteorologist Lee Ringer at News 14 Carolina:  

An image of the Orange Co. Historical Museum
Orange County Historical Museum


More than a thousand organizers are expected to gather in Hillsborough Saturday afternoon as a part of a “Southern Heritage Ride/Rally” supporting the Confederate flag.

Coal fired power plant in Wyoming
Greg Goebel / Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this week the Obama Administration announced its EPA Clean Power Plan that directs states to lower greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants by around 32 percent by 2030.

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

The North Carolina Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit any state agency from fully complying with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The Obama Administration announced the EPA Clean Power Plan earlier this week. It directs each state to develop an individualized plan to cut coal-plant emissions by 32 percent by 2030.

Coal fired power plant
eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina state lawmakers and officials are vowing to fight the Obama Administration’s new clean power plant rules.

A picture of an oil rig

A conference devoted to the plans and potential issues of offshore oil drilling brought together scientists and policy makers in New Bern on Friday. “Shaping Our Economic Future: Drilling Off The N.C. Coast” was sponsored by the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

Dave DeWitt

The hunt for the hemlock woolly adelgid begins in an unexpected place, tucked between a golf-course community and the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary. It's hardly the setting for a tree and a pest that prefers cool mountain air.

Neuse River
Dave DeWitt

A public hearing Tuesday at the General Assembly was dominated by speakers asking legislators not to roll back environmental protections.

Neuse River
Dave DeWitt

Just below the Falls Lake dam, the Neuse River is so shallow you can walk across it and barely get your ankles wet. But it’s what is on the far bank that has Matt Starr concerned. He’s the Upper Neuse River Waterkeeper, and he’s pointing across the river at a house, probably built in the 1970s.

An image of shipwreck remains


The remains were found more than a mile deep off the coast, undisturbed and full of artifacts that might date back to the American Revolution.

Marine scientists from Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon discovered a shipwreck this week on the Blake Plateau in the western Atlantic Ocean. They were looking for a lost mooring, a place where a ship is secured, that was deployed on a previous research trip in the area in 2012.

Wind Energy In NC

Jul 16, 2015
Wind turbines
Martin Pettitt / Flickr Creative Commons

A stretch of land that was once called “The Desert” by locals is now the site of a potential new economy in North Carolina: wind energy.

And the market for the energy produced by the wind farms already has a buyer: Amazon. Meanwhile, the legislature continues to debate environmental deregulation measures.

View of Atlantic Ocean in early morning in summer, Outer Banks, NC
SCMiller / Wikipedia

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued a permit allowing a geophysical imaging company to search from the air for oil and gas deposits over the ocean. The search will be along the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

wind farm
Dave DeWitt

Locals around here call the flatlands west of Elizabeth City “The Desert.” What was once a swamp was drained by timber companies, and, finally, became farmland.  

And it’s almost always windy, as farmer Horace Pritchard explains.

“If you can see and hear the wind right now, that’s the way the wind blows here 90 percent of the time,” he says.

A pile of discarded computers and other electronics.
Curtis Palmer / Flickr

A bill in the North Carolina House would let computer and television manufacturers off the hook for fees that subsidize recycling of their products. The Senate has already passed the bill, even though it would still ban the items from landfills.

Now, recyclers and local governments are worried how they'll afford costly disposal. North Carolina still charges advance disposal fees for tires and appliances to keep them out of landfills.

The Discovery Communications Building in Silver Spring, Maryland decorated for Shark Week in August 2012.
Farragutful / Wikipedia

The Discovery Channel's Shark Week marathon starts this week. But UNC Communications researchers say the footage showing sharks acting like vicious predators can be misleading.

Suzannah Evans and Jessica Gall Myrick co-authored a study of people's responses to Shark Week footage. Evans, a doctoral candidate, says they found that viewers assumed they were more likely to be attacked by a shark than they really are.

Nags Head
Dave DeWitt

A new paper focused on sea-level rise along the North Carolina coast largely backs up the findings outlined in the most recent draft report from the Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel, with one significant difference.