• EPA rule extends life of toxic coal ash ponds

    By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill July 30, 2020 The Trump administration is extending the life of giant pits of toxic coal sludge, a move critics say further risks contamination of nearby water sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) late Wednesday announced it had finalized a new regulation for the more than 400 coal ash pits across the nation, where coal residue is mixed with liquid and stored in open air, often unlined ponds. “Today’s action makes changes to the closure regulations for coal ash storage that enhance protections for public health while giving electric utilities enough time to retrofit or replace unlined impoundment…


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  • United We Grow – Collaboration for Racial Justice & Environmental Justice

    Image caption: 1982, Warren County residents protested a planned toxic landfill in their mostly African American community, considered to be the first “spark” of the national Environmental Justice Movement. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) Featured article from our latest edition of Clean Currents, Clean Water for NC’s quarterly newsletter providing updates on our program work and ways to get involved with the Environmental Justice movement in North Carolina Sign up to receive a paper copy of our Newsletter or an e-Newsletter to your inbox! From the sharp rise in unemployment to the global pandemic impacting us…


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  • Along now-defunct Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, landowners are left in the lurch

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch July 30, 2020 Environmental destruction, property entanglements will take years to address In November 2018, freelance photographer and videographer Charlie Sarratt shot drone footage of the ACP construction in Cumberland County. You can view it here, courtesy of Donovan McLaurin. Behind a black wooden farm gate, near Wade in Cumberland County, used to lie a meadow. Serene, tree-lined, it was a spot of utopia where Donovan McLaurin had planned to build a small house for himself. Instead, the land has been defaced. Hills of dirt two stories tall are splayed to reveal a rugged gash in the earth. This is…


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  • 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…


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  • 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…


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  • 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…


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  • 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…


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  • 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…


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  • 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…


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  • 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.


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