Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

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

Neighbors of abandoned Wake Forest golf course want to know what chemicals are in the soil

By: - March 23, 2023

Nature — and spray paint — are reclaiming the old Wake Forest Golf Course & Country Club. The 160-acre tract off Capital Boulevard was once a destination for those who wanted to conquer a difficult course, including the first hole, a Par 5, that according to ForeTee, a golf course review website, “plays to a whopping 711 […]

Key questions unanswered as Smithfield Foods unveils new plan to capture hog farm methane

By: - March 21, 2023

Giant pork producer asks Northamption County officials to sign off on proposal that would transport gas to Virginia, but declines to disclose key details Smithfield Foods and its affiliate Cardinal Bio-Energy plan to build two large swine gas projects in Northampton County and inject the gas into the Transco Pipeline, which will carry it out of the state and into Virginia.

EPA asks for feedback on shipping waste to Sampson County, then admits it’s been doing just that — since 2017.

By: - March 20, 2023

The stench punched them in the face. People scurried across the parking lot of the Snow Hill Missionary Baptist Church, trying to escape the clammy miasma that had descended over the neighborhood. “It’s the landfill,” neighbors told the newcomers. “Some days we can’t even sit on our front porch.” The Sampson County landfill, operated by […]

Gov. Cooper asks for 23% increase in DEQ budget to help cash-strapped agency

By: - March 16, 2023

The NC Department of Environmental Quality is the Oliver Twist of state government, approaching the legislature, its empty bowl extended, and pleading: “Please sir, I want some more.” Over the past 10 years state lawmakers have been notoriously stingy in its appropriations to the department. They have flaunted their distaste of environmental regulation, not only […]

EPA proposes new rule to crack down on PFAS, forever chemicals in our water

By: - March 14, 2023

The EPA today announced its proposed maximum contaminant levels — MCLs — for six types of toxic PFAS in drinking water and acknowledged that no amount of these compounds is safe. “EPA anticipates if fully implemented the rule will prevent tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses or deaths,” the agency wrote in a slide […]

EPA proposes new rules for toxic pollutants discharged from coal-fired power plants

By: - March 13, 2023

The EPA has proposed new and stricter limits on toxic contaminants that utilities can discharge from their coal-fired power plants and coal ash landfills — but it’s still unclear how the rules would affect  Duke Energy’s facilities in North Carolina. That’s because facilities that stop burning coal by 2028 and 2032 could comply with earlier, […]

Duke Energy Progress is asking for a 18.9% rate hike. Here’s how to comment on the plan.

By: - March 13, 2023

The average Duke Energy Progress residential customer will pay an additional $25.55 per month for electricity by 2026, if the NC Utilities Commission approves the company’s request for a rate hike. The increase is equivalent to 18.9% for a household that uses 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. It will be staggered over three years, with […]

Dudley railroad tie fire was arson; DEQ requiring soil, ash sampling

By: - March 10, 2023

Arson was the cause of a blaze that burned nearly 2 million creosote-treated railroad ties last month in Dudley, a fire that smoldered for nearly a week and spewed plumes of purple smoke several stories high. Now the NC Department of Environmental Quality is requiring the company, National Salvage & Service, to sample the ash, soil […]

Siler City cited another $28K for water quality violations; public can comment on special order

By: - March 8, 2023

Siler City’s wastewater treatment plant continued to violate the Clean Water Act last year, bringing total fines to more than $267,000 for chronic water quality issues since 2016, state records show. The latest fine of $28,000 was assessed by the NC Department of Environmental Quality for violations incurred last July. At that time, average monthly levels of […]

A trifecta of hazards — water, electricity and ammonium nitrate — likely contributed to the massive Weaver Fertilizer fire

By: - March 7, 2023

Holes gaped in the roof. Water leaked down the walls and onto the floor. Electrical fixtures routinely went on the fritz.  State documents show the extent of disrepair at the Weaver Fertilizer plant in Winston-Salem, conditions that could have contributed to a massive ammonium nitrate fire 13 months ago. The blaze burned for a week, […]

Sanford’s wastewater treatment plant legally discharges high levels of PFAS. Public can chime in on whether to strengthen its permit.

By: - March 6, 2023

In an area already burdened by toxic chemicals in their drinking water, residents, environmental advocates and public water systems are asking state regulators to strengthen requirements for Sanford’s wastewater treatment plant – especially for discharges of toxic PFAS and 1,4-Dioxane.  The City of Sanford has applied to the NC Department of Environmental Quality to renew […]

Monday numbers: We can’t drive our way out of climate change

By: - March 6, 2023

A half dozen modular homes are crammed in the elbow of the offramp from I-785 to US 70 on the fringes of Greensboro. In east Durham, a largely Black neighborhood is wedged in a chute of air pollution between the railroad tracks and NC 147.