Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

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

Residents affected by coal ash contamination call for resignation of Tom Reeder, Randall Williams

By: - August 11, 2016

When the coal ash blew through the air in Sue Fife’s yard in Person County, she initially didn’t know what it was. “I thought, ‘What is this stuff?'” she said Thursday, before a rally in support of state toxicologist Ken Rudo and former state epidemiologist Megan Davies. “It looked like fog.” Standing outside the governor’s […]

House Speaker Tim Moore’s recent $1.5 million pet project could directly benefit campaign treasurer, contributors

By: - August 11, 2016

On June 27, state lawmakers were in the throes of hashing out the 2016-17 budget, when tucked on page 182, a new line item appeared, as if by magic: a $1.5 million grant for water and sewer upgrades and dam repair at John H. Moss Reservoir in Cleveland County.

State Rep. Larry Hall wants SBI to pursue Gov. McCrory, put staff under oath

By: - August 9, 2016

This post has been updated. A leading House Democrat has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the actions of Pat McCrory, and may pursue other legal avenues to learn what the governor knew about drinking water advisories and coal ash. At a news conference Monday, House Democratic leader Larry Hall of Durham called for […]

Waterkeepers investigate after coal pile spill at Duke Energy’s Cliffside Plant

By: - August 8, 2016

This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. to add comments from Duke Energy. Nearly a week after Duke Energy announced that 15,000 to 50,000 gallons of stormwater had spilled from a pile of unburned coal into the Broad River, it is still unknown if there is any contamination from the discharge. Now two riverkeeper groups are […]

North State Journal, staffed by former DEQ and McCrory employees, joins governor in attacking Ken Rudo

By: - August 4, 2016

This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. As reader Greg Flynn commented below, the writer of the North State Journal article is Jeff Moore, who worked for the McCrory administration and for the state Department of Commerce. More on his résumé, which includes organizing a parade, farther down in the story. Conservative attacks on state […]

Get your hip waders: New EPA report says Wilmington No. 1 in coastal cities for flooding

By: - August 4, 2016

Since 2010, for an average of 49 days each year — the equivalent of seven weeks — Wilmington has flooded. That figure distinguishes the city as first in the number of coastal flood days in the U.S., a phenomenon spurred  by climate change. A series of reports, “Climate Change Indicators,” released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency, portends more flooding trouble along the […]

State toxicologist assailed by Gov. McCrory has lengthy record of research and public service

By: - August 4, 2016

He’s testified against Dow Chemical. He’s faced down ExxonMobil. His testimony helped two farmworkers whose baby was born without arms or legs reach a settlement with Ag-Mart over pesticide exposure.

McCrory administration repudiates state toxicologist over coal ash drinking water

By: - August 3, 2016

When Gov. Pat McCrory decided to repudiate the state’s veteran toxicologist, Ken Rudo, about coal ash — one of the most controversial issues facing North Carolina — he didn’t do it himself. Instead, he sent his chief of staff, Thomas Stith, to do the difficult work. In a late-night press conference designed only for the […]

North Carolina, the ne’er do-well state, immune from Voting Rights formula, but not court scrutiny

By: - August 2, 2016

Update: The News & Observer is reporting that Gov. McCrory will appeal the Fourth Circuit’s ruling, but without Attorney General Roy Cooper’s representation. April 4, 2013, was a fateful day in North Carolina voting history. On that Thursday, GOP legislators Tim Moore, Tom Murry, Harry Warren and Ruth Samuelson filed an election reform bill designed to disenfranchise African-American — […]

HB2 update: Inside the federal courthouse at yesterday’s hearing

By: - August 2, 2016

With elbow-length winter-white hair, and wearing black shorts and a sleeveless shirt, Hunter Schaefer looked vaguely Nordic. Her celery-thin legs were jammed into thick-soled, black platform shoes, and, like many girls and boys in their early teens, she seemed coltish.

At a weird meeting, Gov. McCrory warns ag board about “environmental extremists”

By: - July 29, 2016

This week’s agriculture board should have been a snooze. Instead, it was a doozy. On the agenda were two ceremonial items: Governor Pat McCrory would sign the farm bill and Associate Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby would swear in new board members. And then, the board would delve into a mind-numbing discussion of ag rules, including those on pen-raised […]

Two years after Dan River disaster Duke Energy plans for massive coal ash landfill

By: - July 28, 2016

At 12 stories, the proposed coal ash landfill at Duke Energy’s Dan River Steam Plant in Eden would loom taller than any building in this small town.

At 23 acres, the landfill would consume the same amount of space as 17 Morehead High School football fields.