Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

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

This map of New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick and Columbus counties shows the areas -- shaded in red -- where private well owners can qualify to have their drinking water tested for PFAS, for free.

DEQ requiring Chemours to expand well sampling to 14,000 homes for PFAS

By: - December 6, 2023

More than 14,100 homes could qualify for private well sampling for PFAS contamination, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality announced today. DEQ is requiring Chemours, which is responsible for the contamination, to expand the testing area to additional homes in New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, and Pender counties. These areas have borne the brunt of PFAS […]

This is a photo of Vonda Frantz is one of hundreds of opponents of Dominion Energy's proposed LNG plant who attended the Person County Commissioners meeting Monday. She has white hair, wears glasses and appears to be in her 70s. She's wearing a purple jacket. The people seated behind her are holding yellow signs that read "No MEC" -- No Moriah Energy Complex.

‘Shame! Shame! Shame!’ Opponents of LNG plant outraged after Person County approval

By: - December 5, 2023

It took nearly two hours for dozens of opponents of a proposed liquified natural gas plant in Person County to explain how the project – aspects of which have been crafted in secret – would harm them, the environment and the planet. The county commissioners took less than 20 seconds to approve it. Over the […]

This is a photo of lean-to shed where Weaver Fertilizer once stored chemicals. It is about the size of a house, has a roof and back wall but no door. There are about a half dozen black 55-gallon barrels.

Contaminated groundwater at Weaver Fertilizer property “likely” moving off the site

By: - December 4, 2023

Nearly two years after a catastrophic fire at the Weaver Fertilizer plant in Winston-Salem, contaminated groundwater at the site has “likely migrated offsite to the west and north,” state records show, and “more groundwater investigation is necessary.” The groundwater beneath the property at 4440 N. Cherry St., contains high levels of at least 15 contaminants, […]

An aerial view of the Chemours plant

EPA withdraws consent for Chemours to export GenX from Netherlands to Fayetteville

By: - November 29, 2023

This is a developing story and will be updated. The EPA has withdrawn its conditional consent for Chemours to export wastewater shipments containing GenX from its Dordrecht Works facility in the Netherlands to its Fayetteville, N.C., facility, the agency announced Wednesday afternoon. In its application to the EPA, Chemours had overstated the amount of imported […]

An aerial view of the Chemours plant

UN panel alleges Chemours is violating human rights of North Carolinians with toxic PFAS

By: - November 28, 2023

DuPont and two of its spinoff companies, Chemours and Corteva, allegedly violated the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people living in the Lower Cape Fear River Basin, routinely discharging toxic PFAS into the region’s drinking water supplies, a United Nations panel announced this past weekend. “DuPont and Chemours facilities have significantly contributed to […]

An aerial view of the Collett Ridge wildfire in North Carolina's mountains. There are large plumes of gray and white smoke floating over the trees with their yellow, orange, red and russet leaves. (Photo: US Forest Service)

Monday numbers: the 5th National Climate Assessment, NC drought and wildfires

By: - November 27, 2023

The last time the rain gauge at Asheville Regional Airport collected much more than a teardrop prior to last Tuesday was three months ago, on Aug. 27, when 1.06 inches of rain fell. In the interim, this mountain town was as dry as sand, federal weather data show, and is nearly 11 inches short of […]

This map shows the range of average cadmium levels in private drinking water wells. The darker the shade of orange, the greater the average concentration. (Map: NC EnviroScan)

Lead, cadmium and ‘metal mixtures’ in drinking water increase risk of preterm birth

By: - November 22, 2023

Pregnant individuals who are exposed to high levels of metals, such as cadmium and lead, in their private drinking water wells have a greater likelihood of preterm birth, North Carolina researchers have found, which can increase the children’s risk of chronic health problems as they grow up. The recent findings are important because an estimated […]

Soil testing for lead in five Durham parks was conducted last summer. This site is at East Durham Park, 2500 E. Main St., and it's just feet from an apartment building.

DEQ will intervene to help clean up lead in Durham city parks

By: - November 21, 2023

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality will help clean up lead-contaminated areas in five Durham parks, city officials announced this week. The parks — Walltown, Lyon, East End, East Durham and Northgate — have qualified for the state’s Pre-Regulatory Landfill Program, which was established to remediate land where municipal solid waste disposal occurred before Jan. 1, […]

A map hows the private drinking water wells that have been sampled near the Sampson County landfill near the Snow Hill community. The six red dots indicate wells with PFAS levels above the EPA's proposed drinking water standards. Yellow dots signify PFAS were detected but not above those proposed standards. Green means no PFAS were detected. There are two old unlined landfills and a lined operating landfill in this community along Highway 24 in Roseboro.

Homes near Sampson County landfill on bottled water after PFAS detections

By: - November 17, 2023

Sampson County residents who want the state to sample their drinking water well can call 919-707-8200. Six households in Snow Hill, a predominantly Black community in Sampson County, are receiving bottled water from the state after sampling showed their drinking water wells contained elevated levels of toxic PFAS. While five of these homes are near […]

a sign alongside a road reads "Stop RDU Quarry"

DEQ, Cultural and Natural Resources at odds over settlement agreement with Wake Stone

By: - November 14, 2023

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and Wake Stone have reached a settlement agreement regarding the controversial expansion of the Triangle Quarry next to Umstead State Park, but the agency still must pay $500,000 in attorneys’ fees. The case stems from litigation before Chief Administrative Law Judge Donald van der Vaart. In August, van der […]

A photo of wood pellets, which are light brown and about 1 to 2 inches long.

Money doesn’t grow on trees: Wood pellet firm tells investors it’s in a financial crisis

By: - November 10, 2023

Enviva, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood pellet fuel, which operates 10 plants in the Southeast, including four in North Carolina, is bleeding cash and experiencing serious financial trouble, company executives said on a third-quarter earnings call Nov. 9.   Falling wood pellet prices and “operational challenges” could also force Enviva to default on some of […]

a map showing a line from the Neterlands to North Carolina

EPA reexamining importation of harmful chemical wastewater to North Carolina

By: - November 7, 2023

This is a developing story and has been updated to include comments from Gov. Roy Cooper. The federal EPA is reviewing its previous authorization of imports of GenX wastewater from the Netherlands to Chemours’ Fayetteville Works plant in North Carolina, according to an EPA official. That authorization was first reported by NC Newsline. “In response […]