NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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.

Read more
Environment
7:56 am
Thu December 5, 2013

North Carolina's Energy Jobs, Energy Future

A "Strata Solar" solar farm in Cleveland County, NC.
Credit Strata Solar

Policy-makers and business leaders say North Carolina’s economic future relies on energy.

Governor Pat McCrory was one of many speakers and panelists at the North Carolina Chamber's Energy Conference at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham.  McCrory said it’s time to follow the economic recoveries of Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Dakotas.

Read more
Environment
10:51 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

N.C. Conservationists To Begin Coastal Cleanup Project in 2014

North Carolina's Marine Patrol will get help next year in removing trash from coastal waterways.
Credit NC DENR

Conservation groups will begin an effort next year to clear debris from North Carolina waterways.  Fishermen have told coastal organizations that many spots where they drop lines are littered with old crab pots and debris hidden deep in the water. 

The North Carolina Coastal Federation is leading a two-year project to clean up state waters from StumpyPoint to the Virginia line.  Ladd Bayliss is one of the federation's coastal advocates.

Read more
Environment
5:14 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

DENR Refuses Federal Water Quality Grants

Credit Environmental Protection Agency

North Carolina environmental officials have said "no" to a federal grant to check water quality in areas where fracking may occur.  The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources says the money from the EPA would only pay for salaries of people brought in to do testing. 

Division of Water Resources director Tom Reeder says DENR doesn't need them.

Read more
Environment
5:09 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Raleigh To Replace Dams

This is an aerial picture of the Falls Lake Dam near Raleigh. City officials plan to replace four dams in the city other than this one next year.
Credit NC DENR

Engineers in Raleigh's Storm Water Utilities Department are planning to replace dams protecting some capital city neighborhoods.  Each project is expected to begin next year with costs into the millions of dollars.

Read more
Environment
2:15 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

NC Falls Behind Federal Water Quality Standards

The Tuckasegee River at Bryson City, North Carolina.
Credit Brian Stansberry, Wikimedia, Creative Commons

North Carolina is not keeping up with the Environmental Protection Agency's rules to measure water quality. 

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has not updated its standards of measuring toxic metals in water since 2007.  The Clean Water Act requires states to hold public hearings and review their rules every three years.  North Carolina is the only state in the EPA's southeast division that has not adopted the latest federal rules. 

Read more
Environment
5:00 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Two Public Hearings Scheduled For Alcoa’s Yadkin Dam Operations

Alcoa's Narrows Dam with Badin Lake in the background.
Credit Nancy Pierce Photo / DO NOT USE

Two public hearings are scheduled this week in the ongoing fight over whether Alcoa should be allowed to continue operating dams on the Yadkin River. 

The hydroelectric dams are about 60 miles south of the Triad, and they powered Alcoa’s aluminum plant in Badin for decades. The factory is now closed, but Alcoa is seeking another 50-year federal license to operate the dams and sell the electricity on the open market.

Read more
The State of Things
10:06 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Why Legislators Are Changing State Environmental Policy

The Seal of the State of North Carolina
Credit North Carolina Government / North Carolina

A variety of measures aimed at weakening environmental protections are making their way through the General Assembly. One would limit environmental regulations while another would repeal a six-year-old renewable energy policy. Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is changing its mission statement to reflect an emphasis on customer service, a move some call anti-science.

Read more
Environment
5:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Coastal Plain Counties Praised For Conservation Efforts

Coastal plain counties where groundwater levels are improving.
Credit NC Division of Water Resources

Officials with the state Division of Water Resources say a new report shows great improvement in groundwater levels over a 15-county area in eastern North Carolina. According to state officials, deep-well, freshwater aquifers in the coastal plain have to stay above full capacity to keep from mixing with saltwater.  If they were to mix, cities would have to spend money to filter out saltwater to make their water is safe to drink.

Read more
State of Things
10:38 am
Fri May 25, 2012

The Fracas over Fracking

Just a few years ago North Carolina state geologists began reporting that prehistoric geologic formations beneath our feet may be good candidates for shale and gas deposits. The only way to release such deposits is through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Other states like Pennsylvania and New York have legalized fracking in recent years, but have had to retroactively enact regulations on the practice. North Carolina wants to do it differently.

Read more

Pages