• Biden Administration Announces Crackdown on Toxic Coal Ash Pollution

    By: Earth Justice, January 11 For the first time, the federal government is enforcing rules that require the coal industry to clean up toxic coal ash waste. This pollution can leak into groundwater and drinking water sources. Earthjustice was deeply involved in passing the original coal ash rules as part of our mission to secure clean air and drinking water for all. Since then, we've been fighting in court to make sure the government upholds them. Coal ash is the leading source of water contamination in the U.S.  Coal ash contains a long list of toxic chemicals, including arsenic, radium, and other carcinogens, as well as several metals that can impair children’s developing brains. There are 738 regulated coal ash dump sites in the U.S. Coal ash ponds hold enough ash to fill train cars that circle the earth more than 5 times over. According to analysis of the industry’s own test results, 91 percent of coal plants severely polluted the underlying groundwater to levels that exceed federal safe standards for drinking water. Coal plants are disproportionately located in communities where people suffer higher incidences of cancer, asthma and more. The EPA just told several coal plants they must follow federal rules about how coal ash is managed.  On January 11 the EPA responded to nine power plants that applied to delay closure of their toxic ash ponds. The EPA did not grant any of the nine applications: it rejected three outright, found four incomplete and one ineligible, and indicated it would only conditionally approve one application after compliance violations were resolved. This is the first time the EPA is interpreting and enforcing the federal government’s rules on coal ash since those rules were passed in 2015. The Trump administration tried to roll back the rules, even after a federal court sided with Earthjustice and ordered the government to strengthen coal ash regulations. Most coal facilities have taken measures to hide toxic coal ash contamination and leave their plants in a condition that will permanently plague local communities with hazardous chemicals. The EPA needs to reverse this course and hold utilities responsible for cleanup and safe closure of toxic ash ponds. Today marks the first step of this process. The EPA’s decisions will have wide application and set a precedent for the hundreds of U.S. coal plants and the coal ash ponds and landfills they manage. [View a map of coal plants contaminating groundwater] The EPA’s decisions establish that:  Coal ash ponds can’t be closed with ash sitting IN groundwater. Across the nation, at least 150 ash ponds are within five feet of groundwater, with a lot of those sitting in direct contact with the water. Leaving ponds of toxic waste in contact with groundwater creates never-ending leaching of dangerous chemicals like arsenic, cobalt, cadmium, lead and radium, which can cause cancer and neurological harm. Coal plant operators must clean up groundwater contaminated by coal ash and cannot get away with “do-nothing” solutions that simply wait for the toxic metals to be diluted or flow into the nearest drinking water well or surface water. Coal plant operators must openly and honestly determine the extent of water contamination caused by coal ash at their plants and can no longer hide behind intentionally false sampling and analysis that conceals the true extent of the poisoned groundwater. Read the article on Earth Justice


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  • PRESS RELEASE: DHHS Launches Low Income Household Water Assistance Program

    JANUARY 3, 2022 - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program will expand to include all low-income households needing assistance in paying their water bill. LIHWAP was created in December 2021 after the State of North Carolina was awarded more than $38 million in federal funds to establish a new water assistance program for households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, households with a current water/wastewater bill can begin applying for LIHWAP assistance if they meet the eligibility requirements, whether or not their water service has been disconnected. Households that have had their services disconnected or are in jeopardy of having their services disconnected can continue to apply. "Due to the pandemic and its impact on our economy, many households are struggling to maintain their water service," said Tara Myers, NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Employment, Inclusion and Economic Stability. "LIHWAP will continue to help families in North Carolina keep their water running, a basic human need that’s critical for good sanitation and better health." LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program that helps eligible households and families afford water and wastewater services. The program provides a one-time payment for eligible low-income households directly to the utility company. LIHWAP runs through September 2023 or until the funds run out. Individuals can apply online at epass.nc.gov. Individuals can also apply by printing a paper application from epass.nc.gov and dropping it off at or faxing it to their local county Department of Social Services or by calling their local county Department of Social Services to apply by phone. To be eligible for LIHWAP, a household must have at least one U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and: Have income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty level Have household services that are disconnected, in jeopardy of disconnection or have a current outstanding bill Be responsible for the water bill Households can apply through Sept. 30, 2023, or until funds are exhausted. For more information on this program and eligibility, visit the LIHWAP website at www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/social-services/energy-assistance/low-income-household-water-assistance-program-lihwap. × ICYMI: We just published our newest report "A Pandemic's Impact: Utility Disconnections, Evictions & Houselessness". Included is a list of resources for individuals facing economic hardships caused by the pandemic.


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  • Comment Deadline on Proposed Plan to Administer American Rescue Plan Act’s Funding – Jan 12, 5PM

    State Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Plan to Administer American Rescue Plan Act’s State Fiscal Recovery Funding RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Infrastructure (DWI) is accepting comments until January 12, 2022 on the proposed plan to administer approximately $1.6 billion in federal funds appropriated in the state budget for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The North Carolina General Assembly appropriated the funds from the state’s allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), including $839.6 million directed to specific local governments and public entities. DWI will administer the remaining…


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  • Our Policy Wishlist for Private Well Users in 2022!

    Direct advocacy with communities on the ground for safe water and clean air is just one part of our Environmental Justice work! Policy development is a key aspect to ensure meaningful, sustainable change. We are excited to share our Well User Protection policy recommendations with our membership & NC legislators in 2022! Support Our Work Today Almost one third of North Carolinians rely on private wells for their drinking water - a source that is not protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. In partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill and the statewide Well Water Working Group, our team at CWFNC has developed two policy recommendations that we will be publishing in 2022 with the goal of raising support for these protections on the state level. Increased Funding for Private Well Tests Cost can be a major barrier for regular testing of private wells, particularly for low-income households. We believe this obstacle can be addressed by the Bernard Allen Fund, created in 2006 to improve the state’s response to private well water contamination and provide low-income households with a safe drinking water supply. Recommendations for the Fund include increasing funding available, providing a public application, increasing the household income limit or providing a sliding scale, and further addressing testing of naturally-occurring contaminants to better address threats to safe drinking water for well users. Requiring Well Testing Before a Real Estate Transaction A safe drinking water supply is essential to human health as well as protecting the value of residential property. If a real estate transfer is finalized before the property owner or renter discovers that the groundwater is contaminated, there may be limited options to remediate the issue. CWFNC believes that adequate testing is essential to due diligence prior to the purchase or rental of any property supplied by a private drinking water well, and is exploring policy initiatives in other states to help develop a similar policy recommendation here in NC. Thank you to all our new and recurring members for sustaining our Well User Protection policy work in 2021! We look forward to sharing more of this work and with you into the New Year! If you haven't given yet, consider donating to Clean Water for NC today and receive a tax deduction before the end of the year! Support Our Work Today


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  • NC governor vetoes bill that would keep local governments from banning natural gas

    By: Adam Wagner, Raleigh News & Observer December 9, 2021 Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill Thursday that would have prevented local governments from banning natural gas in new construction and limited public information about drinking water. No local governments in North Carolina have moved to ban natural gas from new construction, but some governments in California and the Northeast have. That led to a nationwide push by the natural gas industry to enact state laws preventing future bans, which have now been enacted in at least 20 states. “This legislation undermines North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy that is already bringing in thousands of good paying jobs,” Cooper said in a statement. “It also wrongly strips local authority and hampers public access to information about critical information that impacts the health and well-being of North Carolinians.” For House Bill 220 to become law, 72 members of the N.C. House of Representatives and 30 members of the N.C. Senate would need to vote to override Cooper’s veto. When the bill returned to the House for concurrence in late November, it passed 57-46. Environmental groups said the legislation would prevent future action by local governments to curb the impacts of climate change, while Republicans who supported the legislation said it would protect consumers’ ability to choose the source for their heating and appliances. “The heavy hand of government has no place in the personal decisions North Carolinians make for their households,” Rep. Dean Arp, a Union County Republican who is among HB 220’s primary sponsors, said in a written statement. Elsewhere in the country, banning natural gas is part of the effort to “electrify everything,” shifting cooking and cleaning to electric stoves and heat pumps. The thinking is that as electricity continues to be increasingly generated by renewable sources like solar and wind, electrified homes will contribute less to climate change than those with appliances and heat powered by natural gas. The NC Home Builders Association was among the trade groups supporting the passage of HB 220. An association lobbyist previously told The News & Observer that the organization was worried that banning natural gas in construction could cause prices to increase and limit consumers’ energy options. The Natural Resources Defense Council, which has opposed similar legislation nationwide, praised Cooper’s veto. In a written statement, Luiz Martinez, the NRDC’s Asheville-based director of Southeast energy, said, “North Carolina must be able to pursue new policies to combat climate change, create clean energy jobs, and make our communities healthier — and HB220 would have prevented that.” Together, North Carolina’s commercial and residential buildings were responsible for the equivalent of 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, according to the N.C. Greenhouse Gas Emissions report released in January 2019. That was about 7.3% of the state’s gross emissions that year. In a written statement on Nov. 29, June Blotnick, the executive director of CleanAIRE NC, said, “City and county governments have been the vanguard of fighting climate change. This bill is a swipe at their ability to protect their constituencies.” A public records provision in the vetoed bill would prevent the public from obtaining detailed plans and vulnerability information about electricity generation or distribution; treatment or distribution of water; and wastewater outfalls. Environmental groups were worried that the language in HB 220 would prevent the public from obtaining detailed information about drinking water treatment or the locations of lead pipes. In a written statement, Cynthia Satterfield, the N.C. Sierra Club’s state director, said, “We support safeguarding our critical infrastructure, but we also support the public’s right to know how its water is being treated, and to have adequate information to provide comment on infrastructure projects.” The public records exemptions were originally introduced in House Bill 911. As the bill made its way through the House, a bipartisan group of legislators worked together to remove the wastewater collection and outfall exemptions. They also clarified that information about lead service lines would remain public. But HB 911 has stalled in the Senate for months, and the Senate added the original exemptions to HB 220. That raised some concerns among a bipartisan group of legislators in the House and, evidently, with Cooper. Read the article at Raleigh News & Observer


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  • NEW REPORT: A Pandemic’s Impact: Utility Disconnections, Evictions & Houselessness

    Clean Water for NC has been involved in advocating for low-income North Carolinians against utility rate increases for years, and we saw new concerns emerge with COVID’s significant financial hardship for many families nationally and in North Carolina. Staff, along with volunteer Lee Barnes, explored the nuances and impacts of the pandemic on utility insecurity, eviction insecurity, and houselessness in the U.S., and specifically North Carolina, during COVID-19.  Read the Report: "A Pandemic's Impact" The Utility and eviction moratoria are discussed in the context of race and class, especially considering access to utilities and reasonably priced rent before the pandemic as compared to during. The nature of utility shut-offs and why utility access is so important during a pandemic is covered in some detail, and there is discussion of private vs. public water utilities. We examine types of evictions and the legal nature of these evictions, along with the geographic patterns of evictions in the United States. The emotional, financial, and medical impacts of houselessness on Americans, especially during the pandemic, and especially during the climate crisis, are explored, as well as their racial context. We also include resources and highlight organizations providing assistance.  Clean Water for NC aims to demonstrate our commitment to holistically considering the issues facing underserved communities. We hope state policies better protect BIPOC communities facing water disconnections, higher rates of eviction, and unhoused status. Read the Report: "A Pandemic's Impact"


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  • Is your well water safe to drink? New resource from UNC-Chapel Hill, partners can help you decide

    Is your well water safe to drink? New resource from UNC-Chapel Hill, partners can help you decide Story by: Andrew George, Community Engagement Coordinator | UNC Institute for the Environment Press contact: Emily Williams, Director of Community and University Relations | UNC Institute for the Environment,  emilywilliams@unc.edu, (919) 962-0965 People who rely on private well water in North Carolina have a better chance of learning whether their well water is safe to drink thanks to an initiative of the UNC School of Law Well Water Pro Bono Project, the UNC Superfund Research Program (UNC SRP), the environmental non-profit Clean Water for North Carolina (CWFNC), NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS), Division of Public Health, Private Well and Health Program, and the NC Real Estate Commission. The team is engaged in a collaborative effort to provide North Carolinians with information they need to assess the safety of their well water. In October 2021, law students partnered with the NC Real Estate Commission to publish a brochure describing common well water contaminants, how to test for them, and resources for removing them when present. With UNC SRP and CWFNC, the team designed the brochure to inform realtors, property owners, and home buyers about the need for regular well testing as well as how to test well water and opportunities to reduce the cost of testing. An estimated 2.5 million people in NC rely on private wells for their drinking water. Although the state has the fifth largest population of well users in the country, drinking water from private wells is not regulated by state or federal agencies. As a result, most well water is not tested. Many contaminants cannot be tasted, smelled, or seen, making well testing the only way to know if contaminants are present and vital to protecting health or property. “North Carolina does not require real estate transactions to include a well water test, unless there is a known contaminant that the seller has a duty to disclose,” says Professor Maria Savasta-Kennedy, the author of North Carolina’s Environmental Law Practice Guide, who teaches environmental law and environmental justice at UNC School of Law. “Neither the federal Safe Drinking Water Act nor other federal or state regulation governs what is in your well water and how safe it is to drink.” Savasta-Kennedy supervises the Well Water Pro Bono Project, along with Cathy Cralle Jones, senior litigator with the Law Offices of F. Bryan Brice Jr. in Raleigh, who first brought the project to the law school. “The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is thrilled to be involved in bringing these much-needed resources to consumers,” said Charlie Moody, assistant director for the Regulatory Affairs Division of the NC Real Estate Commission. “Additionally, these materials will assist real estate brokers in educating their clients about the importance of well water testing.” When a new well is constructed in North Carolina, the local health department is required to conduct an initial test for a limited number of contaminants (N.C. Gen. Stat. 87-97), but ongoing testing is not required. Additionally, testing is not required for any wells installed prior to 2008. Radon, a prevalent, naturally occurring contaminant in the state, and emerging contaminants such as PFAS and GenX are not included on the list of contaminants that must be tested. “This effort to increase well water testing during real estate transactions complements our ongoing work to support private well users with cutting edge science and potential solutions when contamination is found,” said Rebecca Fry, director of the UNC SRP. “With our community partners, we will continue to incorporate the best science into policy dialogues, so private well users can feel confident making decisions about their drinking water to protect their families and communities.” The next steps include sharing this information broadly, and CWFNC is positioned to take on some of that work. According to Rachel Velez, CWFNC’s Water Justice program director, “absent state and federal regulations for private wells, we are excited to explore creative solutions for protecting well users. We look forward to engaging our statewide membership to better understand the obstacles rural and low-income private well users face when trying to provide a safe drinking water source for their households.” If you are a private well user and would like more information about this effort and research projects to improve drinking water in NC, please visit the UNC Superfund Research Project web page: https://sph.unc.edu/superfund-pages/cec/.  For more information about Well Water Pro Bono Project at UNC School of Law, please visit https://law.unc.edu/news/2021/10/well-water-testing-pro-bono-project/.


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  • The legislature’s environmental budget: What’s in it, how much, and why it matters to you

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch November 17, 2021 For the past 10 years, Republican-led majorities in the General Assembly have sacked the Department of Environmental Quality budget, apparent punishment for enforcing, even meagerly, state and federal environmental regulations. Yet, for the first time since 2017, the legislature’s new proposed budget for DEQ exceeds $100 million. Although substantially less than Gov. Cooper’s proposal of $145 million, and still far short of what the agency needs to fulfill its mission, breaking the $100 million barrier is significant. So what does this mean to the run-of-the-mill individual taxpayer whose checks float state government? A review of the budget documents reveal some key appropriations, as well as items that bear watching, and of course, some questionable expenditures. Department of Environmental Quality Overall budget: $106.9 million in 2021-22 and $102 million in 2022-23 Image: Adobe Stock Item: Five new full-time positions for the “Emerging Compounds Unit,” devoted to mapping and determining the sources of PFAS and 1,4-Dioxane in waterways and drinking water. Plus two temporary positions in this unit will become permanent. Amount: $685,926 each year Why it matters: “Emerging compounds” is shorthand for Toxic Chemicals We Don’t Know Enough About But Will Likely Do Very Bad Things to Humans. Among them, PFAS are widespread in the state’s drinking water supplies. Also known as perfluorinated and polyfluroalkyl compounds, they are toxic, and have been linked to thyroid disorders, kidney and testicular cancers, immune system disruptions, reproductive issues and developmental problems in the fetus. Besides the Chemours facility near Fayetteville that has been the source of enforcement actions by state officials, there are other sources of PFAS — firefighting foam, for example — but the full scope of the problem is unknown. Another likely carcinogen, 1,4-Dioxane, is also found in drinking water, landfill leachate and wastewater sludge that is applied to farm fields. That sludge can seep into groundwater, contaminating private wells, as well as rivers and lakes that serve as public drinking water supplies. Knowing the source of these compounds can at least publicly identify them. Unfortunately, since the EPA hasn’t yet regulated these compounds in drinking water, the state’s authority to bring the hammer down is limited. (The City of Greensboro is a chronic offender and entered into a Special Order By Consent with DEQ; nonetheless, the city continues to discharge illegal amounts of the compound into the drinking water supply.) People who could be exposed to the compounds would benefit from the information, and could then decide whether to install filtration systems in their homes or pursue alternate water supplies — or sue the perpetrator. Image: Adobe Stock Item: Increase in monies for the Bernard Allen Drinking Water Fund Amount: A temporary increase to $700,000 each year, up from $400,000 annually Why it matters: This fund helps eligible households — based on income — secure an alternate drinking water supply if their private well becomes contaminated with human-made compounds. However, there is no income limitation for wells that are contaminated with PFAS. Chemours is responsible for paying for alternate water supplies for people living near its plant. But when the source is unknown, money from this fund pays for well testing as well as alternative water. (There are spending caps, given the finite amount of money.) However, there is a shortcoming in the law that established the fund: Households whose wells contain high levels of naturally occurring elements, such as arsenic and lithium, are not eligible, even though their health might be at risk. Item: Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Amount: $30 million Why it matters: Because it’s at the end of a 191-mile river, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority gets the dregs of upstream pollution — like a bar mat that collects all the excess beer and alcohol spilled over the course of a night. Since 2017, the CPFUA has grappled with trying to remove PFAS, including GenX, and 1,4-Dioxane from upstream dischargers, but because traditional treatment systems don’t filter those compounds, they can remain in the drinking water at high levels. CPFUA has spent money to improve its system with technology that removes about one-third of 1,4-dioxane from raw water. But the full cost to upgrade the water treatment system is upward of $46 million, plus another $3 million in annual operating costs. Unless the utility can successfully sue Chemours or another identified source, that expense is on the ratepayers. Ironically, though, by appropriating $30 million from state funds, taxpayers are still shouldering the financial cost, while lawmakers are phasing out corporate income taxes — like those on Chemours — by 2029. Photo: Creative Commons/jitze Item: Grants for water and sewer utilities that have been designated as distressed or are at risk of being distressed Amount: $456 million and $317 million, respectively Why it matters: We often take water and sewer service for granted — until one or both stops working. But more than a major inconvenience, substandard water and sewer can pose public health hazards: contaminated drinking water, sewer overflows into the streets and waterways, breaks in 70-year-old water mains that create sinkholes in the road. Some smaller cities and towns, especially those losing industry and population, no longer have enough customers to pay for infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. The towns get farther behind in fixing the systems, amass debt and can’t dig themselves out. The state moves in and declares them “distressed.” There are 22 public utilities currently listed as distressed based on water and sewer issues — and whose situation is worsening — according to state records. These funds, apportioned by the Water Infrastructure Authority, could help needy utilities repair their systems, provided of course, there are people to do the work. Of the 22 utilities in crisis, 10 also have “internal control” issues, which in short means their record-keeping and audits are a mess. In addition to general funding for at-risk utilities, who must apply to the Water Infrastructure Authority for money, 115 municipalities are receiving direct funds from the legislature. They don’t have to fill out forms or be scored in order to substantiate their need to the WIA. In other words, they’re cutting in line, thanks to friends in high places. Budget item: Coastal resilience Amount: Roughly $1.6 million Why it matters: The question is not if the coast will get battered next hurricane season, but how many times. Seaside and sound side communities are still recovering three years after Hurricane Florence, and a routine nor’easter can peel the pavement off Highway 12. Climate change is helping to strengthen storms while lifting sea levels, especially in northeastern North Carolina, where the ground is sinking at the same time — a double whammy. Coastal planning and management, as well as a person to do the administrative work, are key to these communities’ ability to adapt to a changing and unpredictable climate. But the money will go only so far unless developers stop building homes on the edge of the ocean — a situation that just begging for trouble. Worth tracking: The NC Policy Collaboratory an environmental and public health think tank housed at UNC-Chapel Hill, is now enshrined into law and funded at $1 million a year. Jeffrey Warren, former science and energy advisor to Senate leader Phil Berger, became the research director of the Collaboratory nearly five years ago. Although Warren’s tenure as the Berger policy whisperer produced some much criticized environmental bills around such topics as coal ash, fracking, and sea level rise, his time at the Collaboratory has resulted in some solid scientific research, particularly regarding PFAS. Photo: Adobe Stock One task for the Collaboratory is compiling a database of PFAS-containing firefighting foams ($100,000). The legislature devoted an entire section to these foams, known as AFFF. Once the budget becomes law, state and local fire departments, including those serving airports, must provide an inventory of all AFFF, including amounts, storage, disposal and “deployment” or use. Record-keeping must include the date, time and location of where AFFF was used, as well as how much and why the fire department used that type of material. This will allow state environmental officials to track where the AFFF might have entered waterways, but also gives public health officials a clearer picture of firefighters’ exposure to the chemical. However, the original language would have banned AFFF in training but was watered down at the last minute into this the AFFF study provision.   Photo: Creative Commons/OSU Master Gardener Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Overall budget: $169.8 million in the first year, $162.9 million in the second Item: Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program Amount: $250,000 in one-time funds Why it matters: Pro tip: Don’t throw your leftover pesticides in the trash. The money in this appropriation would be used to help — for free — farmers and homeowners in the safe collection and lawful disposal of banned, outdated or unwanted pesticides. Hazardous material shouldn’t go to a municipal landfill. Instead, pesticides should be disposed of in special landfill that handles this type of waste. Or you could just learn to live with the dandelions. Ravenous and invasive, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Photo: University of Florida Entomology Department) Item: Hemlock restoration Amount: $300,000 each year Why it matters: The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an invasive, homely insect that is decimating vast acres of hemlock trees in the North Carolina mountains. It was also found in 2010 at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary. Hemlocks are known as the “redwood of the east,” according to the National Park Service. Some Eastern hemlocks can grow more than 150 feet tall on trunks measuring 6 feet in diameter. Some of these trees in the Great Smoky Mountains are over 500 years old. But when large stands of hemlocks die, as they are en masse in Western North Carolina, it ignites a chain reaction that damages, sometimes irreparably, habitats for fish, birds and other wildlife. These die-offs release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that drives climate change, into the atmosphere. Restoring hemlocks is key to rehabilitating parts of the mountain ecosystem as well as storing carbon in the trees. The Chestnut Knob fire south of Morganton in 2016 (Photo: NC Forest Service) Item: Wildfire suppression Amount: $4 million for an airplane tanker and a helicopter to help suppress wildfires, plus another $5 million to replace old fire suppressant equipment. An additional $1 million in grants go to forest owners for prescribed burning. Why it matters: Considering how wet the mountains were this year because of Tropical Storm Fred, it’s easy to forget about the possibility of wildfires. But so far this year in North Carolina, 2,801 fires have burned 8,422 acres, according to the NC Forest Service. North Carolina has already outpaced 2020 in the number of fires (2,302) and acreage burned (7,829). Prescribed burning is important to suppressing wildfires. Selectively burning understory — a longtime and effective method employed by Native American cultures — deprives potential wildfires of fuel.  Questionable: $200,000 in one-time money for the Cleveland County Fair, which is in House Speaker Tim Moore’s district, and a half million dollars to pave the Duplin County Events Center parking lot, which is in Rep. Jimmy Dixon’s district. Worth tracking: Proceeds from timber sales on Department of Agriculture land are to be used for land restoration and stewardship. How much money did the department earn from the sale of 19 acres of timber that is now a State Fair parking lot? Policy Watch filed a public records request on Oct. 28 for information on those revenues. Stay tuned.


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  • Celebrating EJ Victories! New ‘Clean Currents’ Newsletter!

    “Clean Currents” is our organization’s quarterly newsletter featuring our current campaign work, drinking water news and opportunities to get involved!


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  • Environmental lawsuit challenges NC biogas production from hog waste

    By: Arturo Pineda, Carolina Public PressOctober 22, 2021 A complaint about pollutants from hog farms filed last month with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleges that the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s issuing of biogas permits to four hog farms will have a disproportionate impact on communities of color in the surrounding area.  North Carolina environmental and civil rights advocacy groups argue that if the biogas operations are allowed to operate, pollutants from the operations will affect the communities of color surrounding the hog farms.  Biogas production is…


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