Environmental Protection Agency

Environment
2:01 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

EPA: Coal Ash Not Hazardous Waste

A US Fish and Wildlife Service agent responding to the coal ash spill on the Dan River earlier this year.
Credit USFWS

The Environmental Protection Agency came out today with its first-ever regulations for coal ash.

The new rules treat coal ash like regular household garbage, instead of hazardous waste, as many environmental groups wanted. The EPA said the record did not support a hazardous-waste classification.

Coal ash is the byproduct when coal is burned for electricity. It contains arsenic, selenium, and other materials that can be harmful to humans.

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Health
8:38 am
Mon September 29, 2014

EPA Hosts Chemical Safety Summit in RTP

The EPA says many chemicals people used are do not require much testing.
Credit Collin Anderson / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a chemical safety data summit in Research Triangle Park today and tomorrow. 

Unless a chemical is being used as a food additive, a drug, a pesticide or one of a few other specialized uses, EPA officials say there's not a significant amount of testing required. 

Russell Thomas is a director at the EPA.  He said there are hundreds of new chemicals introduced into the environment each year.

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Environment
4:20 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Complaint Filed With EPA Over Hog Waste Disposal

Environmental advocates say waste from hog farms are posing a health danger to several eastern NC communities, They;re asking the U,S. EPA to help.
Credit Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

Several environmental groups have filed a federal complaint against the state over hog waste. In a filing with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the organizations say North Carolina has failed to enforce rules regulating disposal of hog waste.  

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Environment
3:36 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

How's The Air In NC? EPA Results Are Here

A reduction of emissions from coal-fired plants like this one have helped North Carolina meet federal air quality standards.
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia / Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina is meeting a new national standard for reducing particle pollution. 

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has notified Governor Pat McCrory that it will officially designate that the state is in compliance this coming December. 

State air quality experts say particle pollution can reach dangerous levels at any time during the year. 

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Study: Air Quality Restrictions Linked With Improved Respiratory Health

New research from Duke University shows a link between air quality restrictions and improved respiratory health in North Carolina.
Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

Duke University researchers have found a connection between state and federal air pollution restrictions and improved public health in North Carolina.

Duke Surgery Professor H. Kim Lyerly and his team evaluated disparate data from air quality monitoring stations and health statistics between 1993 and 2010. Lyerly said air quality improved, and so did respiratory health.

Accounting for seasonal changes and an overall drop in smoking, Lyerley said annual emphysema-related deaths dropped from 12-per-100,000 people, to five. Asthma and pneumonia-related deaths decreased, too.

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Water Quality
7:56 am
Mon December 30, 2013

NC Will Stop Monitoring Water Quality At 41 Swimming Locations

After the EPA cut $22,000 from a water monitoring grant, the NC Division of Marine Fisheries will drop 41 swimming sites from list of spots it tests for harmful bacteria.
Credit NASA / PD-USGOV

Federal cuts mean the state will stop monitoring water quality at several dozen swimming sites along coastal rivers and sounds in the coming year. The Environmental Protection Agency cut $22,000 from a grant for the testing.

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries uses a combination of state and federal funds to test 240 swimming areas for certain bacteria.

Director Louis Daniel says the division has notified county heath and summer camp directors that it will stop testing water quality at 41 swimming areas in coastal rivers and sounds.

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Environment
6:37 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Is North Carolina To Blame For Northern States' Air Pollution?

Pollution fills the air from the Blue Ridge Paper mill in Canton North Carolina, deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

That's not an easy question to answer.

Earlier this week, eight Northern states filed a petition with the EPA alleging that states from the South and Midwest are producing enough smog that it's affecting the air quality downwind. But how much can be blamed on North Carolina?

On the face of it, it's likely that some of North Carolina's air pollution does seep across state lines.

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