Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

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

In Columbus County, mercury, PCBs and a long-overdue Superfund cleanup point to a larger problem: accountability

By: - August 25, 2016

The air smells acrid in Riegelwood, where a faint breeze scours your sinuses with the scent of sulfur coming from the International Paper plant. All day long, dozens of semi-trucks, loaded with logs, pull onto John Riegel Road headed for the factory. Here, the wood will be chemically boiled and bleached to make fluff pulp, a material used in disposable diapers.

The Holtrachem Superfund site: A long, dirty legacy in Riegelwood

By: - August 25, 2016

1963: Riegel Paper Corporation, now International Paper, operates on 26 acres in Riegelwood in Columbus County. The corporation transfers the land to Allied Chemical Corporation, which manufactures liquid bleach and other chemicals. 1979: Allied sells the facility to LCP Chemicals. 1994: LCP files for bankruptcy. Holtrachem acquires the site and begins operations. 1996: OSHA inspects […]

Frack-o-nomics: Short-term gains, long-term problems

By: - August 24, 2016

Aubrey Hilliard had just eaten a meal of chicken-fried steak and lemon meringue pie when a friend Mitchell George entered the diner. The year was 1978, the place, Jacksboro, Texas, in the Fort Worth drilling basin. “Check this out,” George told Hilliard, himself an oil and gas guy. “We’re drilling a horizontal well.” The company […]


In lambasting the left over Jeffrey Warren, Senator Phil Berger forgets about the conservative hires in higher ed

By: - August 22, 2016

Senate leader Phil Berger is miffed. He can ram through legislation and help orchestrate a GOP takeover of the General Assembly, but he can’t seem to get his friends hired at UNC. Last week, NCPW reported extensively on Berger’s science adviser, Jeffrey Warren, and his bid to lead a UNC environmental think tank — the North Carolina […]

Public can comment on Hofmann Forest settlement between EPA, NC State Resources Foundation

By: - August 19, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting public comment on a $160,000 settlement with the NC State Resources Foundation for violations of the Clean Water Act in Hofmann Forest. The deadline for comments is Sept. 7. In 2014, the EPA alleged contractors for the foundation illegally dredged 120 acres of wetlands in Hofmann Forest during timbering operations. Those […]

Department of Justice: Rivers Correctional Institution in Hertford County is a lawless place

By: - August 18, 2016

Rivers Correctional Institution is located on 257 bucolic acres on Parker’s Fishery Road, in unincorporated Hertford County. With a capacity of 1,450, the federal prison could fit about two Wintons — the closest town, population 760 or so — inside its walls. Even though Rivers is a low-security facility — not a supermax prison — it is a desperate, violent […]

Meet Jeffrey Warren: The mastermind behind the state’s bad environmental laws could get a plum job at UNC

By: - August 18, 2016

In mid-August, the high season’s last hurrah, the packed beach at Nags Head is veiled with blue umbrellas that match the color of the ocean and the sky. Yet at just three feet above sea level, Nags Head is sinking, and portions of the beach are receding, both natural geologic occurrences that have shaped the coastline for thousands of years.

Jeffrey Warren’s Greatest Hits

By: - August 18, 2016

Jeffrey Warren: Geologist, former adjunct associate professor and recording artist of a kids’ rock album Synonym Toast, he is also a powerful architect of state environmental legislation.

Warren’s LinkedIn page lists 56 bills on which he says that he served as an “advisor/strategist” for the Senate. Most of the legislation focused on weakening environmental protections for the coast and water and air quality.

Panel of scientists, including several from N.C., disagree with EPA’s rosy fracking report

By: - August 16, 2016

More than two dozen scientists, including several from N.C. State and UNC Chapel Hill, have criticized the Environmental Protection Agency's 2015 draft fracking report, stating it downplays the risks that horizontal drilling poses to local water supplies.

Panel of scientists, including several from N.C., disagree with EPA’s rosy fracking report

By: - August 15, 2016

More than two dozen scientists, including several from N.C. State and UNC Chapel Hill, have criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 draft fracking report, stating it downplays the risks that horizontal drilling poses to local water supplies. This is conclusion of the EPA’s independent science panel, which recently released its own report  asking the agency to incorporate its findings, according […]

Rep. Mike Hager resigns; GOP to meet to suggest replacement

By: - August 13, 2016

  The House Majority Leader Rep. Mike Hager (R-Burke, Rutherford) has resigned just three months before the November election. A former Duke Energy employee before he took office, Hager worked on several bills that favored fossil fuels and Duke, in particular. A three-term House member, introduced a bill that would have repealed the state’s renewable portfolio standard. He […]

Who’s who at the EnergySure Coalition, backers of the Atlantic pipeline headed for North Carolina

By: - August 12, 2016

While North Carolina is rightfully focused on the coal ash scandal, another environmental tug-of-war is strengthening in some of the state’s poorest areas. Co-owned by Duke Energy, Dominion, PSNC and AGL Resources, The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would ship natural gas 550 miles, from the fracking hotspot of West Virginia through sensitive, federally owned land in Virginia, and then into eastern North […]