Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

Assistant Editor and Environmental Reporter Lisa Sorg helps manage newsroom operations while covering the environment, climate change, agriculture and energy.

two firefighters spray foam from a large hose

State budget includes money for PFAS, higher fees for electric cars, DEQ bonuses for speed

By: - September 22, 2023

More than $55 million is included in the state budget to address PFAS contamination in drinking water, but given the vast scope of the problem in North Carolina, the money won’t go that far. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority in Wilmington would receive $35 million: Roughly half is allocated for public water extensions to private […]

This is a photo of a a plastic tray and cup caught in some branches in a Durham stream.

Keep North Carolina filthy: Proposed budget could limit cities, counties from enforcing litter laws

By: - September 21, 2023

Nearly 11.6 million pounds of litter was culled from North Carolina highways in 2022, according to transportation department figures, and that number doesn’t include the bags, bottles, dirty diapers, cigarette butts and other flotsam choking rural roads and urban streams. Now if a provision in the proposed state budget is not changed, North Carolina’s trash […]

five playing cars -- two aces, two eights and one that's not turned over

Who’s who on the NC Lottery Commission, potential overseer of casinos

By: - September 19, 2023

Faro, 5 Monte, Roulette, Keno, Bingo, Fan Tan, Twenty-one, Blackjack, Seven and a Half, 6 Klondike, Craps, Poker, Chuck a Luck, Chinese Chuck a Luck (Dai Shu), Wheel of 7 Fortune, Chemin de Fer, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Beat the Banker, Panguingue, Slot 8 machine: These are the many ways you could lose — or if […]

Vice President Kamala Harris descends an open-air stairway from Air Force 2 on the tarmac of Piedmont International Airport in Greensboro. The sky is clear and blue. She is wearing a gray pant suit. A soldier in his dress blue uniform stands at attention at the bottom of the stairs.

Vice President Kamala Harris to NC A&T students: ‘When you vote, it scares some folks.’

By: - September 17, 2023

This is what happens when the vice president of the United States visits Greensboro: Excitable German shepherds, restrained by their military handlers, sniff every duffel, trash can, and bathroom of a terminal at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Poised, yet nervy and as quiet as bats, Secret Service agents in dark suits and sunglasses scan the […]

a muddy creek

Durham housing developer allegedly violating Clean Water Act, jeopardizing Falls Lake

By: - September 12, 2023

Falls Lake is going through some things. Fertilizer is running off from farm fields, entering its tributaries. Toxic compounds known as PFAS, whose sources remain a mystery, have been detected at and near the dam. And when it rains, clay muck flows from large clear-cut lots, suffocating nearby streams that feed the lake. Although the […]

DEQ fights back against ruling in favor of Wake Stone mine near Umstead State Park

By: - September 11, 2023

Administrative Law Judge Donald Van der Vaart ignored evidence, committed logical errors and misinterpreted state law when he ruled in favor of Wake Stone, which plans to expand its Triangle quarry to abut Umstead State Park in Raleigh. Those are among the allegations included in documents filed last week by the NC Department of Environmental […]

the top of an oak tree seen from below

Over the past decade, Wake County lost 11,120 acres of trees — equivalent to 2,700 Walmart stores

By: - September 7, 2023

On the northern edge of downtown Raleigh, Capital Boulevard is a parched and treeless hellscape where the sun wilts all who dare to cut through its parking lots. New Bern Avenue, east of WakeMed toward Knightdale, is an endless steppe of pavement where people waiting for the No. 15 bus crowd under mangy crepe myrtles, […]

The back of a red sweatshirt reads "Made in the USA"

Labor Day numbers: Despite low unemployment, 7,200+ NC workers losing their jobs this year

By: - September 4, 2023

If you are fortunate to have Labor Day off, thank a union. Although there’s disagreement about who to credit for suggesting the holiday — Peter J. McGuire or Matthew Maguire — both men were leaders in their respective labor unions. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland made it an official federal holiday. (Black people and other […]

After lead found in several city parks, Durham offers free blood tests for kids, pregnant people, starting today

By: - August 31, 2023

People who are pregnant and young children can have their blood tested for lead — for free — at the Durham County Health Department. The program starts today; no insurance is required. Children must be between 6 months and 6 years old. Lead is a neurotoxin. Children with very high levels of lead in their […]

This map of southeastern North Carolina shows areas in red that are at high risk for flooding from Hurricane Idahlia: New Hanover, Columbus, Brunswick, Pender, Carteret and parts of southern Bladen and Craven counties. There are dozens of hazardous waste sites in these counties, signified by white, blue and black dots.

Landfills, hazardous waste, hog farms: what lies in the path of Hurricane Idalia in North Carolina

By: - August 30, 2023

Hundreds of landfills and hazardous waste sites, as well as thousands of enormous hog and poultry farms are in the path of Hurricane Idalia, expected to arrive in North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon. Although by the time Idalia reaches the state, it will likely have been downgraded to a tropical storm, the National Weather Service […]

A photo of a wetland, similar to a swamp, in the Croatan National Forest. It is in a shaded area and sunlight is filtering through, dappling the water.

Wetlands are the “memory” of the landscape. When they are lost, so are our stories.

By: - August 25, 2023

Also check out a new feature, “The Understory,” an audio field trip that explores important places and environmental issues in North Carolina. In this episode, we visit the Croatan National Forest to see various types of wetlands, including those that are at highest risk of being harmed or eliminated altogether. Our guides are Samantha Krop, the […]

A basketball goal at Walltown Park has a yellow caution tape tied to the goalpost and to an orange snow fence to prevent access to lead contaminated the soil. The contamination is on the edge of the paved court.

Final report shows Walltown, East Durham parks most affected by lead contamination in soil

By: - August 24, 2023

Pieces of glass and porcelain, more than 70 years old, were found in lead-contaminated soil at several Durham parks, evidence that old incinerators are a likely source, according to a final report released by the city last night. The findings by city contractor Mid-Atlantic Associates, confirm and underscore sampling conducted in the fall of 2021, […]