Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

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

A map of North Carolina showing the far southwestern part -- Cherokee, Macon and Clay counties -- are under a Code Red air quality alert. That means the air is unhealthy for all people.

Wildfires consume 2,100 acres of drought-stricken areas in NC mountains, prompting air quality alerts

By: - November 7, 2023

A Code Red air quality alert has been issued for several southwestern counties of North Carolina because of smoke from wildfires that have burned more than 2,100 acres in the mountains. Drought-stricken Cherokee, Clay and Macon counties are under a Code Red — meaning the air is unhealthy for everyone, according to the N.C. Department […]

Dominion Energy provided this photo illustration of the proposed liquified natural gas facility -- LNG, for short -- in southeastern Person County. The large tank can hold 25 million gallons of LNG.

Dominion plans large liquified natural gas facility in Person County near Rougemont

By: - November 3, 2023

Mangum’s Store anchors a corner of Moriah and Mt. Harmony Church roads in rural Rougemont, where it sells a little bit of everything: groceries, gasoline, even sleds – which actually get some use in Person County because it lies above the “snow line” in central North Carolina. Up the road, Sweet T Farm raises pork, […]

Cristex Drum, a Superfund site in Oxford, receives $10m to clean up toxic legacy

By: - October 31, 2023

Jeff Crowley has spent 21 years at the EPA traipsing through some of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites in the U.S. So when Crowley politely advised a crowd of people how to behave at the old Cristex Drum property, which is rife with solvents, asbestos and lead, no one argued. “If I don’t go […]

a map showing a line from the Neterlands to North Carolina

EPA explains why it authorized imports of GenX from Netherlands to NC

By: - October 27, 2023

Oct. 30, 5:19 p.m.: This story has been updated with comments from Chemours. Newsline originally contacted the long-time spokesperson and received no response. That spokesperson retired earlier this month. The EPA had no legal authority to block exports of GenX wastewater from the Netherlands to North Carolina, the agency said this week, because of an […]

An aerial photo of semi trucks dumping garbage at the Sampson County landfill.

DEQ sampling drinking water wells near Sampson County landfill for PFAS

By: - October 26, 2023

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is sampling private wells near the Sampson County landfill to assess potential PFAS contamination in the drinking water, a DEQ spokesperson has confirmed. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration announced it is awarding $1 million to the state health department to address private well contamination throughout Sampson County. Residents whose wells […]

Gov. Roy Cooper signs a document at a desk outside the Governor's Mansion

Gov. Cooper issues environmental justice order, says it will “last beyond this administration”

By: - October 25, 2023

Every year, the 6,000 people who live adjacent to the Port of Wilmington, in New Hanover County, are assaulted with hundreds of tons of air pollution: from the concrete plants spewing their ultra-fine dust, the fumigation facilities legally emitting neurotoxins like methyl bromide and phosphine, the ships and trains and tractor-trailers exhaling plumes of diesel […]

A photo of several white chefs' uniforms outside a hotel. They are encased in plastic.

EPA proposes ban on ‘extremely toxic’ TCE, found at dry cleaning sites, other areas throughout NC

By: - October 24, 2023

Camp Lejune and Cherry Point. Chemtronics in Swannanoa and Cristex Drum in Oxford. All of these North Carolina Superfund sites — as well as hundreds of other locations statewide — have been contaminated with TCE, which the EPA calls “an extremely toxic chemical” known to cause liver cancer, kidney cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. TCE also damages […]

a map showing a line from the Neterlands to North Carolina

EPA okays Chemours request to export GenX from the Netherlands to Fayetteville Works plant

By: - October 18, 2023

The Chemours Fayetteville Works plant can import up to 4 million pounds of GenX from the company’s Netherlands facility over the next year, according to an EPA letter authorizing the shipments — 220 times the amount exported in 2014. The GenX will originate at the Chemours plant in Dordrecht. The facility could export as many […]

boards and columns hold up a carport while construction materials, such as long boards are strewn all over the ground

ReBuild NC warned hurricane survivor he could have to repay all of his benefits, as much as $250K

By: - October 17, 2023

This is part of a series of stories about financial waste at ReBuild NC. Vernon Harrell told them to look in the attic.  His family home in Kinston did not flood in Hurricane Matthew, but copious amounts of rain from the historic storm leaked through the roof. Please look in the attic, Harrell told the […]

A photo of Hal Lowder, the emergency management director for the Town of Whiteville, in Columbus County. He is a 62-year-old white man with snow-white hair and a mustache. He's wearing a pine green uniform. On his desk sit emergency radios, pens, a black prayer book, and a computer. The computer monitor has small paper ghosts on it, made by his daughter. (Photo: Lisa Sorg)

Hurricane survivor to ReBuild NC: “Are we just a number? Is anybody out there a human being?”

By: - October 16, 2023

This is a second story in a series about financial waste at ReBuild NC, also known as the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency. Hal Lowder’s office in Whiteville City Hall is crammed with a collection of silver vintage fire extinguishers, a stack of Justin’s cowboy hats, an array of family photos and a simple […]

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson at the legislative auditorium behind a wooden podium. The carpet is red and there are three large windows in the background. Robinson is a Black man, bald and is wearing a dark suit jacket and white dress shirt.

In declaring “Solidarity for Israel week,” Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson tries to erase his history of anti-Semitic vitriol

By: - October 12, 2023

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who on social media has peddled antisemitic conspiracy theories, denied the Holocaust (“Hitler disarming MILLIONS OF Jews and then marching them off to concentration camps is a bunch of hogwash”), claimed a character in the “Black Panther” movie was “created by an agnostic Jew,” and then in the same Facebook post […]

A broken window on a home damaged by Hurricane Matthew

While 3,100 hurricane survivors lack permanent homes, ReBuild NC employees earn big salaries

By: - October 12, 2023

This is the first in a series of stories about waste at the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency, also known as ReBuild NC. At a tense legislative oversight hearing in September 2022, desperate homeowners, lawmakers and emergency management experts lambasted ReBuild NC about North Carolina’s failed hurricane recovery program. “Based on what I’ve heard […]