• Judge’s ruling revokes coal ash landfill permits in Chatham, Lee counties

    By: Jessica Patrick, WRAL December 16, 2019 CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Environmental groups are praising a decision revoking permits for coal ash landfills in Chatham and Lee counties. On Friday, a judge ruled the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) exceeded its authority and failed to use proper procedure by issuing permits for the Brickhaven and Colon mine sites, according to the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL). The ruling comes after environmentalists voiced concerns over groundwater contamination from coal ash, the powdery substance that remains after burning coal. Coal ash ponds located…


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  • New Data Show Severity of Water Contamination in Poor Neighborhoods

    By: Daniel Ross, Truthout October 23, 2019 Curious to know exactly what’s in the water that flows from your taps? Then simply plug your zip code into the latest iteration of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database. The database provides an analysis of the water…


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  • Why Are Democratic Governors Still Doing Favors for the Oil Industry?

    By: Nick Martin, The New Republic November 22, 2019 As the world warms and weather grows more extreme, it’s hard to find anyone in American politics—Democrat or Republican—taking the crisis as seriously as scientists suggest they should. A report released this week by the United Nations Environment Programme found that by 2030, the world’s states will have produced twice the amount of fossil fuels allowable if limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit); the current rate of production is 120 percent over what would be necessary to limit warming to 1.5 degrees…


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  • Coal ash case: DEQ 2, Duke Energy 0

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch Oct. 29, 2019 An administrative law judge has again ruled against Duke Energy, determining that state environmental regulators acted appropriately in several aspects of requiring the utility to fully excavate its unlined coal ash basins. Judge Selina Malherbe ruled on two motions yesterday: DEQ provided adequate notice to Duke Energy prior to issuing the April 1, 2019 closure election decision; DEQ properly limited Duke Energy to filing a single closure plan for each coal ash impoundment. “The judge’s ruling confirms that DEQ acted openly and transparently as we made an informed decision on the closure of the coal…


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  • Lead Isotopes Provide New Tool for Tracking Coal Ash in Dust, Soil and Sediments

    Featuring: Avner Vengosh, Gary Dwyer, Zhen Wang Oct. 22, 2019 DURHAM, N.C. – Inhaling dust that contains fly ash particles from coal combustion has been linked to lung and heart disease, cancer, nervous system disorders and other ill effects. But tracking the presence of coal ash in dust has been a challenge for scientists. Until now. Researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill have developed a new forensic tracer that uses lead isotopes to detect coal fly ash in dust and other solids, including soil and sediments. Fly ash is a fine particulate produced by burning pulverized coal. Tests…


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  • The Connection Between Pipelines and Sexual Violence

    By: Nick Martin, The New Republic October 15, 2019 Last Tuesday, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced that the state would intervene in the legal battle over the Keystone XL pipeline. “The Keystone XL Pipeline will bring jobs and economic development to Montana,” Fox wrote in a public statement. “The obstructionist litigation against it has dragged on for far too long—it’s time to settle the matter and begin construction.” Fox, a Republican, is running for governor in 2020, and his support for Keystone XL was expected. Equally expected was the disappointment from environmental groups and tribal nations…


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  • Governor’s office agrees to allow employees to publicly answer lawmakers’ questions about ACP

    By: Lisa Sorg, The Progressive Pulse Oct. 14, 2019 Employees from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office soon could publicly testify before lawmakers about details of a voluntary $57.8 million mitigation fund involving the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The employees could appear before a subcommittee as early as the week of Nov. 4. If built, the ACP would started at a fracked natural gas operation in West Virginia, traverse through Virginia and enter North Carolina in Northampton County before continuing 160 miles through the eastern part of the state. Tens of thousands of people oppose the project because it would harm waterways, wildlife habitats and air quality, as well as raise…


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  • What to watch in the Appalachian Trail ACP fight

    By: Niina Farah, E&E News October 7, 2019 Parties on either side of a newly picked Supreme Court case on the Atlantic Coast pipeline see starkly different consequences of justices weighing in on the legal conflict. The high court agreed last Friday to hear an appeal of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Forest Service could not authorize the pipeline to cross hundreds of feet beneath the Appalachian Trail (Greenwire, Oct. 4). Critics of the 4th Circuit decision — the pipeline developers, a coalition of states and other industry groups — see a ruling by…


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  • NC not among states getting federal grants to study PFAS exposure on health

    By: Greg Barnes, North Carolina Health News  September 25, 2019 North Carolina is not among seven states that will be awarded federal grant funding to conduct health studies on people in specific communities who have been drinking water contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. The reason: North Carolina, which is said to have the third-worst PFAS contamination in the country, did not apply for a grant. “It had nothing to do with someone dropping a ball at all in this case,” said Heather Stapleton, a researcher at Duke University whose work includes PFAS contamination. Stapleton said she…


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  • Pipeline protest reaches downtown Roanoke

    By: Heather Rousseau, The Roanoke Times September 24, 2019 About 150 people gathered in downtown Roanoke to protest against two proposed natural gas pipelines on Monday. Pipeline Protest SUN SiNG Collective performs at a rally with about 150 people gathered in downtown Roanoke Monday protesting against two proposed natural gas pipelines. Protesters from Virginia,…


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