• 21 state attorneys general sue over new Trump water rule

    By: Don Thompson, Associated Press July 21, 2020 Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Tuesday, alleging that new federal rules undermine their ability to protect rivers, lakes and streams within their borders. They say that new final rules issued last week by the Environmental Protection Agency alter a practice dating back more than 30 years giving state governments the authority to review, block or put conditions on federally permitted water projects. President Donald Trump in April 2019 issued an executive order directing the change that critics said could make it…


    Continue reading
  • Duke, Dominion Cancel Plans for Unjust Atlantic Coast Pipeline

    The cancelling the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a  victory for justice of many kinds! Environmental Justice, because the African American and Indigenous communities along the pipeline route can breathe easier that this massive project that will not victimize them yet again by disproportionately harming their health, safety, economics and access to their lands.  Climate justice, as the routine emissions of methane from the ACP and the fracked gas it supplied were estimated in our 2019 study to increase climate impacts by as much as 13% over EPA’s estimate of current national methane releases. Economic Justice, as ratepayers of the mega-utilities Duke and…


    Continue reading
  • Belinda Joyner Is Tired of Fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, But She’s Still Fighting

    By: Lewis Kendall, IndyWeek July 1, 2020 “We are tired of being dumped on.” In February, Belinda Joyner caught a ride to the U.S. Supreme Court. Alongside a couple of close friends, the 67-year-old rode from her home in Garysburg, a 1,000-person town near the North Carolina-Virginia border, up to Washington, D.C. They were there to watch the court hear arguments over whether the U.S. Forest Service should be allowed to issue permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be built through national forest lands connected to the Appalachian Trail. The 600-mile, $8 billion pipeline—spearheaded by Dominion Energy and Duke Energy and first…


    Continue reading
  • Robeson County is NOT a Sacrifice Zone – Go Home, Active Energy! 

    Active Energy LLC, a UK based company, is proposing to construct and operate a “black” wood pellet facility in Lumberton – the first of its kind to ever be operating anywhere on the planet. The NC Dept. of Air Quality is weighing the request in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when studies are showing that black and brown people are being disproportionately impacted by the health crisis due to compounding factors of living and working conditions and higher incidence of health conditions that increase risk for respiratory illness. Communities in Robeson County are overburdened by pipelines and polluting industries, and…


    Continue reading
  • Robeson County residents tell DEQ to deny air permit for Active Energy wood pellet plant

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch June 24, 2020 A proposed wood pellet plant faces vehement opposition from many Robeson County residents, including elected officials, and environmental advocates, who say the facility would not only pollute the air, but also would be financially risky and environmentally unjust. The NC Department of Environmental Quality held a virtual public hearing Monday night to receive formal comments on a draft air permit for the plant, owned and operated by Active Energy Renewable Power, in Lumberton. More than 125 people attended, and of the roughly 50 who spoke, just four asked DEQ to approve the air…


    Continue reading
  • Why ‘I can’t breathe’ is resonating with environmental justice activists

    By: Denise Chow, NBC News June 10, 2020 The death of George Floyd in police custody sparked a movement that has focused national attention on institutional racism that permeates nearly every aspect of society. And that includes climate change. Now, climate activists and scientists say a similar reckoning needs to happen in the environmental movement, which experts say has had a long, uneasy relationship with racial politics. “There’s a level of racism in the movement itself, where some folks think that talking about these issues is a distraction,” said Jacqueline…


    Continue reading
  • Pipeline projects draw criticism for ‘environmental racism’

    Virginians calling in to the State Corporation Commission on May 12 pulled few punches: “environmental racism,” “sacrifice zone,” an “unfair and unjust project.” Many struggled to get through, repeatedly dropped from the call-in queue for public comment by technical glitches. But they kept calling back, hammering against a proposal to install yet more natural gas infrastructure in the state — 24 miles of 30-inch pipe, three compressor stations and two large gas plants.


    Continue reading
  • Keeping an Eye on the impacts of Factory Farms

    SIGN UP FOR FACTORY FARM WATCH DIGEST! CWFNC’s newest project addresses the under-regulated poultry industry and its threat to drinking water and community health. Poultry operations are spreading across the state at an alarming speed, while our state agencies downplay their risk to both people and the environment. These farms negatively impact the health of nearby residents, pollute the air and water, and neglect the safety of their workers. Alongside preexisting efforts by Environmental Working Group and the Waterkeeper Alliance, we will push for better permitting, transparency, and enforcement to help mitigate this issue for North Carolinians.  Advocacy groups and investigative journalists have released a number of eye-opening reports and news articles to call attention to the dangers of industrial animal operations and how this impacts each and every one of us. Here is a collection of recent news and reports:  REPORTS: UNDER THE RADAR  NC Regulators have Ignored the Decade-Long Explosion of Poultry CAFOs, which create 5 million tons of nutrient-laden poultry waste a year (4.8 times more nitrogen & 4.1 times more phosphorous waste from poultry than from pigs). EWG, Feb 13, 2019 Investigation: Counties With Meatpacking Plants Report Twice the National Average Rate of COVID-19 Infections Counties with or near meatpacking plants have almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average, according to a geospatial analysis by the Environmental Working Group. EWG, May 14, 2020 NEWS: Nearly a billion birds producing five million tons of waste per year While hog farms and their waste are monitored by DEQ, poultry farms remain under the jurisdiction of the agricultural department, which has limited knowledge of their whereabouts. NC Policy Watch, May 19, 2020 DEQ lists progress on environmental justice, swine farms; critics say enforcement essential NC DEQ released a draft of a violation point system that can be used to better gauge animal farms' permit compliance as well as the first version of an anonymous compliant tool. NC Policy Watch, May 15, 2020 ‘They didn’t tell us anything’: North Carolina poultry plant workers say Butterball isn’t protecting them from COVID-19 Up to 52 workers at the Duplin County Butterball plant tested positive, but the company and NC government won’t confirm the number of cases, leaving communities at risk, confused, and demanding transparency. Southerly Magazine, May 1, 2020 FACTORY FARMS: A PANDEMIC IN THE MAKING. Most recent pandemics have been the result of zoonotic viruses “spilling over” to humans from animals, in many cases through domestic livestock right here in the U.S. US PIRG, Apr 24, 2020 If you’re interested in staying updated on our project and the latest poultry-related news, click the button below! SIGN UP FOR FACTORY FARM WATCH DIGEST!


    Continue reading
  • House bill would ban sale, production of PFAS in North Carolina

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch May 15, 2020 Companies could no longer manufacture PFAS, also known as perfluorinated compounds, in North Carolina under a new proposal, House Bill 1109. If enacted into law, the measure would also prohibit the export of the toxic compounds, “except for products specifically authorized or required to contain PFAS under federal law.” The bill was introduced May 14; it has eight co-sponsors, all Democrats: Pricey Harrison, John Autry, Alison Dahle, Susan Fisher, Marcia Morey, Deb Butler, Zack Hawkins and Raymond Smith. There are 5,000 types of PFAS. Most are used in, or byproducts…


    Continue reading
  • Duke Energy gave half a million to political group before primary, new filings show

    By: Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network April 29, 2020 North Carolina law allows the utility to hide which candidates benefited from its political spending. Duke Energy funneled half a million dollars through a tax-exempt political group to pay for polling, television ads, and mailers in advance of North Carolina’s March primary, new documents submitted to the Internal Revenue Service show. At least three state legislative candidates got help from the entity named Citizens for a Responsible Energy Future, according to media reports and filings with other federal officials. But that aid accounted for less than a tenth of the group’s total expenses, leaving…


    Continue reading