Environment

Environment
5:48 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Dam Breach a Reminder of Potential Hazards

A dam breach in Moore County didn't put the public in danger. But it did serve as a reminder of the many dams in North Carolina that could be more dangerous if they failed. Mell Nevils, Chief of the Land Quality Section of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which includes the North Carolina Dam Safety Program, says the dam in Moore County was classified as an "intermediate hazard" meaning there was a likelihood of property damage in the event of a failure.

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Environment
8:50 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Duke Finds Gold Rush Deforestation in Amazon

The Amazon Rain Forest is being threatened by a gold rush. A new study from Duke University shows that surface mining is eating up large chunks of the forest in Peru. Jennifer Swenson is an assistant professor who worked on the project. She says satellite photos help assess how much land is being affected.

Jennifer Swenson: "I looked at two main mining sites that are new and over two years 1800 hectares of primary forest was removed. Think of that in terms of football fields, its actually 4 and a half football fields a day."

Environment
6:30 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Durham Seeks to Reduce City Fleet's Emissions

There's a new effort underway to reduce pollution in Durham. A number of the city's diesel vehicles have been fitted with emissions reduction equipment similar to that used to cut nitrogen oxide levels from power plants. Stephen Piccot is the Director of The Southern Research Institute and is in charge of the pilot project.

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Environment
6:00 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Hog Farm Pollution Tied To Residents' Symptoms

Spraying hog waste and hog carcass disposal
Credit Larry Baldwin, Neuse River Foundation

  People living near hog farms in the eastern part of the state experience breathing problems when emissions from hog waste are highest - that's from new research done by UNC environmental scientists. 

Epidemiologist Steve Wing from the Gillings School of Global Public Health placed air pollution monitors in communities surrounded by large hog farms. He says one of the most important gasses he measured is hydrogen sulfide. The rotten egg smelling gas is known to be toxic to the nervous and the respiratory systems.  Wing also asked residents to keep diaries of their symptoms. 

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Environment
7:23 pm
Fri April 22, 2011

NC Shrimp Catch Down This Spring

White Shrimp
Credit NOAA

  Consumers might notice that there are fewer local shrimp in the market than in other years... that's because fishermen are noticing there are fewer local shrimp in coastal waters.  Shrimpers blame the weather. Bill Rice is a seafood dealer in Carteret County and heads a fishermen's co-op there. He says the absence of white shrimp is probably due to waters that are staying cool this spring.

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Environment
5:50 am
Wed April 20, 2011

President Declares Disaster Area

President Obama has declared disaster areas in central and eastern North Carolina. Residents in 18 counties can apply for disaster relief funds today on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler toured several eastern counties yesterday to get a handle on the damage. He says most of the damage was to infrastructure, equipment and livestock. And that will be expensive for farmers to replace.

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Environment
5:30 am
Tue April 19, 2011

State Lawmakers Discuss Tornado Damage

All flags will be placed at half-staff for the remainder of the work week at state government and university buildings.

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Environment
9:16 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

Wake County Tallies Cost of Storm

Shaw University's historic marker propped on the ground after storm.
Credit Leoneda Inge

  Clean-up crews and emergency management teams are working over-time in a 20 county area of the state.  This is where most of the damage occurred after those deadly and destructive tornadoes over the weekend.

In Wake County – officials are already beginning to put a price tag on the cost of the damage. 

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Environment
6:00 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

State and Local Officials Assess Tornado Damage

 State and federal officials are assessing the extent of the damage caused by tornadoes in North Carolina on Saturday. Jessica Jones reports from Raleigh.

Downed trees and power lines have turned downtown Raleigh into a ghost town. Cleanup crews could be seen this afternoon clearing away branches and other debris. Raleigh's mayor, Charles Meeker, says even though tornadoes cut a small swath through the city, they were very destructive. 

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Environment
11:53 am
Mon April 18, 2011

Wake County Recovering From Weekend Storm

Wake County Emergency Management workers continue disaster relief efforts this morning. Saturday's tornadoes and severe thunderstorms left many homeless. Emergency Operations Center manager Steve Newton says his first priority is helping those residents start the recovery process.

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