Pollution

Environment
5:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Haw River Listed Among The Nation's Most Endangered Rivers

Haw River at Griffins Crossroads, NC
Credit Todd Martin / Flickr/Creative Commons

A national environmental group says the Haw River is among the most endangered in the nation. Earlier this year a pipe broke in Burlington and 3.5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Haw. The River flows into Jordan Lake, which provides drinking water for about one million state residents.

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Environment
4:57 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Duke Energy Proposes Settlement Over Coal Ash Pond Leaks

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

Duke Energy has reached a tentative settlement with state regulators regarding lawsuits over leaks from its coal ash ponds in Asheville and on the Catawba River.  The company has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.  The consent order would require the company to determine the cause and the extent of those leaks into groundwater and into Mountain Island Lake, the source of Charlotte’s water supply.  Susan Massengale with the state division of water quality says the agreement lays out a timeline for Duke to do that.

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Environment
1:30 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Study Shows How Trees Help CREATE Smog

Leaves produce a substance that exacerbates smog, a new study finds.
Credit Laura Candler

A new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has revealed exactly how trees play a role in smog production. The question has been a source of scientific uncertainty for years, and the findings are a milestone in air pollution research, with potentially significant implications for public health.

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Politics & Government
7:21 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Durham Makes Move To Buy Property Near Polluted Falls Lake

Falls Lake as seen from above Durham County.
Credit Travis S / Flickr

Durham County Commissioners have approved a plan to buy 260 acres of land near Falls Lake.  The board voted 3-2 this week to purchase the property in east Durham for $650,000.

Commissioner Ellen Reckhow says the deal will allow Durham County to comply with a state mandate that says all local governments in the Falls Lake watershed must help clean up the polluted lake.

"It has Falls Lake frontage and so many creeks and streams such that 93 percent of the acreage is within 300 feet of water," Reckhow said during this week's meeting.

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Environment
9:25 am
Tue May 15, 2012

NC Aims To Reduce Mercury In Water

NC Division of Water Quality
NC Division of Water Quality

North Carolina environmental officials are formulating a strategy to reduce mercury levels in the state's waterways. The divisions of air and water quality are holding public meetings this week and next to share their findings and solicit ideas. Susan Massengale with the Division of Water Quality says they've just completed a study finding that 98% of the mercury in the state's water is coming from the air.

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Environment
7:16 am
Mon December 5, 2011

TVA Settlement Funds Discussed

A series of public hearings starts today to determine how the state should use funds from an $11.2 million settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The agreement came earlier this year after the state claimed coal-fired TVA plants in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee sent polluted air into North Carolina. State Energy Office spokesman Seth Effron says the settlement calls for the money to go toward clean energy projects.

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Environment
1:10 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

State of the Sounds

The health of the bodies of water that surround coastal North Carolina is being discussed today in New Bern. The state's eight sounds are managed by a program through the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Jim Hawhee works for DENR. He says what happens in Raleigh and Durham effects the water in the sounds.

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Environment
6:00 am
Mon October 31, 2011

Ozone Levels Lower

State health officials say fewer emissions from cars and industrial buildings cut down on air pollution this year. The annual ozone season officially ends today. There were 26 days in which ozone exceeded healthy levels. That's well below the 10-year average of 41 days. Division of Air Quality spokesman Tom Mather says recent numbers are lower despite back-to-back hot and dry summers.

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Environment
6:00 am
Thu July 21, 2011

Outcry Over Proposed Sulfur Plant in Morehead City

A sulfur-melting plant proposed near Morehead City has provoked a public outcry. Tom Pasztor, Senior Director of Corporate and Government Relations for the Potash Corporation says they need the plant in order to produce fertilizers, agricultural feed and industrial products. The Potash Corporation is the parent company of PCS Phosphates. PCS already uses sulfur to produce fertilizers and agricultural feeds at a facility in Aurora, North Carolina. The plant would allow them to melt dry sulfur that arrives at the port.

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Environment
5:47 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

EPA Cleans Up Chemicals in Rocky Mount

EPA officials are working to clean up tractor trailers containing barrels filled with chemicals on a residential property in Rocky Mount. The owner of the property said the trailers had been there since he inherited the land from his father. When crews arrived on-site they reported strong chemical odors and a trailer was leaking black material. Kenneth Rhame of the EPA says they have determined the air around the site is not contaminated, but soil contamination is still a worry.

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