• DEQ denies MVP Southgate water quality permit — again

    By: Lisa Sorg, April 29 NC Policy Watch The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has again denied a key water quality permit for the proposed MVP Southgate natural gas pipeline, dealing another setback to the controversial project that would run through Rockingham and Alamance counties. DEQ originally denied the water quality permit application last August. At the time Division of Water Resources Director Danny Smith wrote that because of “uncertainty surrounding the completion of the MVP Mainline project … work on the Southgate extension could lead to unnecessary water quality impacts and disturbance of the environment in North Carolina.” MVP appealed the DEQ’s denial…


    Continue reading
  • The great methane debate and what it could mean for North Carolina

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch April 21, 2021 Environmental advocates want stronger regulation of the potent greenhouse gas, but ag and energy interests are touting biogas More than 2,200 industrialized hog farms and another 200-plus dairy operations in North Carolina are constantly belching untold amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and driver of climate change, into the air. Yet because of the EPA’s inertia and the livestock industry’s significant political power, these farms have eluded any meaningful regulations of their methane emissions and their contribution to the climate crisis. More than two dozen environmental groups recently petitioned the EPA to regulate industrialized swine…


    Continue reading
  • Letter from your ED: “Thank You for 22 Years, Hope!”

    We have been one blessed organization, enjoying the knowledge, skills, and expertise of Hope Taylor, our former Executive Director for 22 years.  Even before Hope took on the ED role in 1999, she was an active participant and volunteer of Clean Water for North Carolina (CWFNC).  As your new ED, I have some big shoes to fill and the shoulders of a giant on which to stand. As I stepped into this amazing position, I was honored that Hope offered to stay onboard for several weeks through the transition and to remain an active participant in our incredible non-profit.  With…


    Continue reading
  • At Earth Day climate summit, Biden promises 50% reduction in US greenhouse emissions

    By: Dierdre Shesgreen, USA Today April 22, 2021 WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030 at a virtual climate summit Thursday, outlining an aggressive target that would require sweeping changes to America’s energy and transportation sectors. “These steps will set America on a path of a net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050,” Biden said as the White House opened the two-day summit, attended by 40 leaders from around the world. “Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade, this is the decade…


    Continue reading
  • Tools Series for the Citizen Scientist in Your Community: NC SWAP Tool!

    This Earth Week, learn how to become an environmental expert in your community! In today’s digital world, online tools or web applications are a convenient way for public agencies like the EPA to share information about polluting industries and their potential harm to the environment. For communities, these tools may be particularly useful to combat environmental injustice. By mapping important information about facilities, pollutants, water sources and other publicly available resources, users can gain the knowledge they need to face any challenges in their area. But these applications can also be difficult…


    Continue reading
  • Environmental Concern? Clean Water for NC Wants to Hear from YOU!

    Although we haven’t been able to work closely with community members on the ground during the pandemic, Clean Water for NC remains committed to fighting for Environmental Justice for ALL North Carolinians! If you have concerns about an environmental issue in YOUR community, whether water, air, or soil related, please reach out to us and we will do all that we can to address your issue or connect you to someone who can. We know some topics may be sensitive to discuss, so our staff is ready and able to handle confidential phone calls if needed. Some examples of…


    Continue reading
  • 7 million Californians live near oil and gas wells. This bill could change that.

    By: Alexandria Herr, Grist April 12, 2021 Despite its green reputation, California has a big fossil fuel problem on its hands: neighborhood oil and gas drilling. In California, there’s nothing preventing frackers or drillers from setting up shop right next to your home, school, or hospital — and indeed, this is the reality for 7.4 million Californians currently living within 1 mile of oil and gas drilling operations, who are disproportionately non-white and low-income. Now, a new state bill called S.B. 467, slated for a hearing in the California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on…


    Continue reading
  • Proposed Plastics Plant Will Test Joe Biden’s Commitment to Environmental Justice

    By: Dharna Noor, Gizmodo April 6, 2021 Myrtle Felton has lived in St. James Parish her whole life, but it looks nothing like it did when she was young. “It looks like a third world,” she said. “Sometimes I just go ride to River Road, and I try to remember what it actually looked like years ago. I try to remember, ‘Whose house was here? Whose house was there?’ But there are so many chemical plants down this road that now, even me, I forget what it looked like because it’s so different.” In the decades Felton…


    Continue reading
  • Covid, Climate & Clean Water—Moving CWFNC Forward for Environmental Justice!

    This article is featured in our latest edition of Clean Currents – Clean Water for NC’s quarterly newsletter! You can sign up to receive our free newsletter by mail or online by clicking the button to the right. Also be sure to check out our other news digests! Sign Up to Receive Newsletters! The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically revealed the massive social, economic and environmental injustices still throttling our nation’s ability to ensure we can ALL thrive and be a part of building a just society in the 21st century. We all have seen that Black and Brown, Indigenous and poor people have taken the brunt of severe illness and death at far greater rates than their proportion in our population. Disproportionately stuck in jobs that force them to be essential front line workers, unable to work remotely, and often not provided with personal protective equipment or able to socially distance in crowded workplaces, these communities also have fewer resources to obtain health care and less job flexibility to stay home even when sick. Along with a greater likelihood of large, multi-generational households, the result has been that Covid-19 has often ravaged entire extended families, and hurt those who’ve taken the biggest risks to care for, transport and feed others during the pandemic. Within a few years of CWFNC’s founding in 1984, staff member Nan Freeland (photo right) participated in the 1991 First International People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. She brought the shared values of the “Principles of Environmental Justice” back to our organization, and helped to found the NC Environmental Justice Network. Before she left CWFNC to work at NC State University and as a consultant, those values had deeply influenced our organization, and continue to do so more profoundly in our work with communities, striving for more protective policies, while engaging the leadership of those most adversely impacted. Climate change, as author-activist Naomi Klein has written, “changes everything,” and connects the likelihood of increased disease prevalence with the unequal impacts of disease on People of Color and low income, with the siting and weak permitting of polluting facilities in communities already impacted by health disparities and less access to safe, affordable water. As I step down as Executive Director (but I will stay around in a transition advisory role for a few months), I believe that all of our members, donors and allies will support CWFNC as we become ever more deeply involved in climate activism as linked to our Environmental Justice mission. Thanks and much love and appreciation to you all, -Hope


    Continue reading
  • Converting hog waste into energy: Not as neat and simple as it might sound

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch April 2, 2021 Public comment period ends Sunday on Optima TH’s air pollution permit for facility at Smithfield slaughterhouse  Optima TH has applied for a state air quality permit to operate a major biogas facility at Smithfield Fresh Meats in the Bladen County town of Tar Heel. If approved, Optima TH could emit 24,500 to 40,800 tons of greenhouse gases each year. Biogas, in the form of methane, would be collected from Smithfield’s wastewater treatment system, upgraded onsite at the Optima TH facility to meet natural gas standards, and then injected into a Piedmont Natural…


    Continue reading