Water

Politics & Government
7:42 am
Mon June 16, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Monday, June 16

Photo: The North Carolina Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh
Credit Jorge Valencia

North Carolina’s General Assembly leadership is expected to begin negotiations this week to reconcile two proposals for the state’s $21.1 billion budget, a legislation that touches many aspects of government, but has centered on how to give pay raises to public school teachers.

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Politics & Government
8:11 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

NC Senate Wants Fracking In The State By July 2015, But House May Not Be Ready

Drilling companies would possibly extract natural gas from Lee County.
Credit Donald Lee Pardue via Flickr

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved legislation that would lift the state’s de-facto moratorium on hydraulic fracturing next year, but will likely be challenged by the House of Representatives and Governor Pat McCrory.

The bill, known as the Energy Modernization Act, calls for the state to start issuing permits for drilling companies to extract natural gas through the controversial drilling method known as fracking on July 1, 2015.

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Politics & Government
8:50 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Five Actions NC Lawmakers Want To Take On Fracking This Spring

A rig and gas well operation in the Marcellus Shale in Jackson Township, Pa.
Credit WCN 24-7 via flickr

North Carolina lawmakers approved on Thursday the draft of a bill that outlines how drilling companies may be able to conduct a controversial type of natural gas extraction in the state.

The bill, which the General Assembly will deliberate when it convenes for session this month, includes provisions on the chemicals used for gas extraction, the possibility of water contamination, and local government ordinances.

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Environment
12:43 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

This Durham Mechanic Bought A Million Acres Of Rainforest To Save His Home Village

Godi Godar (right) with a man from the Lac Tumba region, DRC
Credit Godi Godar

Godi Godar lives and works in Durham, NC. He's a mechanic there. That's kind of amazing since Godar had never seen a car until he was in his 20s.

Godi grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There was no running water or electricity in his town, Ikoko Bonginda. (Ikoko is in the Congolese rainforest, several hundred miles upriver from the DRC's capital, Kinshasa.)

Godi recalls seeing electricity across the lake, where the missionaries were.

"I remember saying, 'Wow, look at the lights there!' It was a trip."

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Environment
4:53 am
Thu April 17, 2014

NC Law Makers Offer No New Solutions To Clean Pollution From Jordan Lake

The state commission overseeing plans to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last meeting.
Credit JT Taylor / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state commission that’s been looking at ways to treat pollution in Jordan Lake did not make any recommendations during its last hearing on Wednesday.

Government and business leaders from towns that use the lake for drinking water urged the committee to reinstate regulations on the water that is poured into the lake.

The state has suspended some requirements until 2016. They would require costly improvements to storm water drainage in in areas including Greensboro and Burlington.

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The State of Things
11:48 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Artists Explore The Sounds And Imagery Of Ice

An image from Ice Music, photographed by UNC Professor Brooks de Wetter-Smith within a Swiss glacier
Credit Brooks de Wetter Smith / Ice Music

 After numerous trips to Antarctica, Brooks de Wetter-Smith developed a fascination with ice. He says this overlooked necessity gives us water and supports our rivers. But it is not just utilitarian. The element is visually-magnificent, and creates unique sounds as it transforms from ice to water. 

Brooks described to Host Frank Stasio what it was like exploring Antarctica, a massive icy landscape, and how that made him think twice about the ice back home. 

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Environment
7:42 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Committee Charged To Clean-Up Jordan Lake

State lawmakers want to clean up an abundance of algae in Jordan Lake.
Credit Dave DeWitt

A committee of state lawmakers is trying to determine how to best clean-up Jordan Lake. The group met for the first time yesterday.  Jordan Lake has large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, which on their own don’t present any significant problem. But when those nutrients sit stagnant in the lake for as long as a year at a time, it leads to toxic algae and chlorophyll.  The state is going to soon start using something called the SolarBee, devices that will move water around and decrease stagnation.

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The State of Things
11:36 am
Tue January 14, 2014

The Danger Of Toxic Algae To North Carolina

Credit Creative Commons

Algae may seem harmless, but toxic algae blooms can be a real problem in water supplies used by people.

They can kill wildlife in the water and be dangerous to humans. Host Frank Stasio talks with Hans Paerl, professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, Morehead City.

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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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Business & Economy
9:08 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Raleigh Is Phasing Out Its Toilet Rebate Program

Credit Salim Virji / Flickr Creative Commons

Raleigh residents have until January first to take advantage of the city's toilet upgrade reimbursement.

Raleigh has been giving out $100 rebates for efficient toilets since 2009. It was part of an effort to encourage water conservation following the severe drought in 2007 and 2008.

Ed Buchan is Raleigh's environmental coordinator. He says the city is ending the rebate program, because rate-payers have embraced the efficiency effort.

"So we have this business case analysis, we looked at the program, and we budgeted $500,000 a year for the rebates," Buchan says.

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