Environment

The State of Things
12:29 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Dan River Fish Tested After Coal Ash Spill

The Dan River bank with residual dark grey coal ash.
Credit Steven Alexander / USFWS

WUNC's Greensboro Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii discusses new developments with Duke Energy's coal ash spill

  

This week, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, DENR, is testing fish tissue in the Dan River for contamination from the Duke Energy coal ash spill earlier this month.  The Southern Environmental Law Center claims they warned Duke Energy and DENR of a potential spill last year. 

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Environment
7:02 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Coal Ash Lawsuits: A History

The Dan River bank with residual dark grey coal ash.
Credit Steven Alexander / USFWS

 

Earlier this month a stormwater pipe running under a coal ash pond in Eden ruptured. It did the following:

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Coal Ash
1:43 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

WUNC's Greensboro Bureau Chief Talks Coal Ash With MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

Jeff Tiberii reports on coal ash spill on MSNBC 2/19/14

"Behold the frog that I am more worried than any other frog in any other place in the world."

Last night, Rachel Maddow began a segment on her MSNBC television program focusing on a little frog that can be seen in a pipe. (Officials have fed a camera into a pipe under a coal ash dump in Eden North Carolina to see if it was leaking.)

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Environment
4:31 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Today In Coal Ash: More Subpoenas, DENR On The Defense

Tom Augspurger (l), USFWS, taking core sample during February 8th reconnaissance of Dan River coal ash spill. (l-r) Tom Augsperger, USFWS, John Fridell, USFWS, Rick Smith, Duke Energy.
Credit Steve Alexander / USFWS

Federal prosecutors have handed out more subpoenas in a criminal investigation stemming from the recent coal ash spill in Eden. The government is seeking documents from 20 current and former employees at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Prosecutors are also calling on those individuals to testify before a grand jury. The subpoenas seek records related to cash, items of value or investments that state employees might have received from Duke.

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Environment
9:07 am
Wed February 19, 2014

DENR To Duke Energy: Stop Using Other Stormwater Pipe

The Dan River was affected by the coal ash spill. It flows through Danville, VA
Credit Jeff Tiberii

State officials with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have told Duke Energy to stop using a stormwater pipe running under a coal ash pond in Eden.

State officials with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have told Duke Energy to stop using a stormwater pipe running under a coal ash pond in Eden. (This is a different pipe than the one that ruptured 17 days ago, causing the third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history.) Following that spill at a retire coal fired power plant north of Greensboro, many environmentalists and media members questioned the durability of this second, smaller pipe. Duke has said repeatedly this pipe is structurally sound and water running through it, is clean. DENR tested some water and determined that not to be the case.

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The State of Things
10:42 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Raleigh's New Climate Change Hub - How Will It Help Farmers?

Climate change can cause droughts.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/12309025826/

Host Frank Stasio talks with Steven McNulty, a research ecologist at the U.S. Forest Service and director of the local climate change hub

Earlier this month, Raleigh was selected to host one of seven climate change research hubs in the nation. The hubs will prepare farmers to cope with  the effects of climate change on their land. 

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Environment
5:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

What It Looked Like When Tons Of Coal Ash Drained From A Power Plant To The Dan River

An aerial view of the Duke Energy plant next to the Dan River, which in 2012 stopped using coal to generate power. The first of the two coal ash basins (center left) was built in the 1950s.
Duke Energy

On the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 3, a security guard at a Duke Energy plant near the North Carolina-Virginia border noticed the water level in a reservoir pond was dropping quickly.

He told facility managers, and what ensued was a chain of relayed messages: First to environmental professionals working for Duke; then local authorities in nearby Eden, N.C., Rockingham County, N.C., and Danville, Va.; the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management; and the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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Downed Trees
7:41 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Wilmington: City Of (Problematic) Trees

Fallen tree limbs line the streets of downtown Wilmington.
Credit Jason Tyson / Twitter @JTysonWrites

The city of Wilmington prides itself on its "urban forest." Beautiful Oaks, Myrtles and Dogwoods line the historic streets. The Wilmington Tree Commission hands out awards to properties with particularly good preservation and landscaping policies. It's consistently named a "Tree City USA" by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

But when an ice storm hits, limbs begin to fall. And so do power lines.

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Black Ice
8:50 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Black Ice Danger Looms After Winter Storm

After a two day storm, black ice is still making for treacherous roadways.
Credit Danielle Scott / Flickr Creative Commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielle_scott/

The two-day snow and ice storm has finally stopped, but hazardous road conditions remain.

Kathleen Carroll is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Raleigh. She said temperatures rose into the upper-30s yesterday, causing the snow to start melting.

“The problem is that it didn't really dry out a whole lot before the sun set and temperatures started to fall again,” Carroll said. “So what's we've seen over night is a pretty good development of black ice on area roads.”

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Environment
7:28 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Duke Energy And DENR Receive Subpoenas Related To Coal Ash Spill

The Dan River flows through Danville, VA 22 miles down stream from the site of a coal ash spill in Eden. Officials say treated water there remains safe to drink.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

The federal government has issued subpoenas to Duke Energy and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The U.S. Attorney is investigating a suspected felony. The subpoenas dated Monday seek a wide range of documents, reports and photographs related to the recent coal ash spill into the Dan River. It’s not clear what felony the federal government suspects Duke or DENR of having committed. A metal pipe beneath a coal ash pond ruptured 11 days ago, sending potentially toxic material into the river. 

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