• 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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  • Coal Ash Is Hazardous. Coal Ash Is Waste. But According to the EPA, Coal Ash Is Not “Hazardous Waste.”

    By: Jeff Turrentine, NRDC September 6, 2019 A memorial to the workers that have become ill or died since they participated in the clean-up of the Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill Coal ash, a catchall term for several kinds of waste left over at power plants that burn coal, typically contains a number of substances harmful to human health—arsenic, chromium, lead, and mercury among them. Coal ash is incredibly dangerous. Short-term exposure…


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  • As Pipeline Construction Booms, Citizens Take Inspections Into Their Own Hands

    By: Brittany Patterson, WV Public Broadcasting August 29, 2019 On a recent hot, August weekend, about a dozen citizens spent three days along the route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Armed with cameras, smartphones and drones the volunteers traveled portions of the pipeline’s route under construction from Monroe to Doddridge counties. “There was several things that we saw,” said Summers County resident and organic farmer Neal Laferriere. Laferriere organized the three-day “violations blitz.” He said volunteers documented small problems like poorly-maintained erosion controls as well as much larger ones. “Sediment-laden water in one situation was overflowing…


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  • In the House, a major amendment to controversial Duke Energy rate-making bill hands the hot potato back to the Senate

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch August 21, 2019 A key provision in Senate Bill 559 was upended in the House Tuesday afternoon, which made the measure more palatable to opponents but added uncertainty to it future. Colloquially known as the Duke Energy rate-making bill, it contained a controversial section that allowed the utilities commission to approve multi-year rate plans. Utilities could then avoid requesting rate hikes more often. While bill proponents in the legislature said it would add certainty to rate-making, there’s no guarantee that rates would decrease. If they increased, customers could be locked into higher bills for…


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  • With town of Eureka drowning in sewage bills, state takes control

    By: Kirk Ross, Carolina Public Press August 7, 2019 In early June, the small northern Wayne County town of Eureka, got its official warning letter from the N.C. Department of State Treasurer that, due to concern about how the town was handling its sewer system funds, the state intended to take over its finances and assume direct control of the town. A month later, the department has made good on its promise, taking over the town’s accounts, impounding its books and financial records, and setting a new temporary budget for operations. It’s not the first time the state has taken over a town…


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  • BREAKING: Judge rules for DEQ in Round 1 of coal ash cleanup appeal

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch August 2, 2019 State environmental regulators were not wrong in choosing the method of closure — excavation and removal of millions of tons of coal ash — at Duke Energy impoundments, Administrative Law Judge Selina Malherbe has ruled. Duke Energy had contested DEQ’s April 1 decision to require it to excavate all of the coal ash from nine unlined impoundments at its remaining six plants. The ash would then be placed in lined landfills onsite or offsite. Private lawsuits already have compelled Duke Energy to excavate ash from impoundments at eight of its 14 North Carolina plants. Duke…


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