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 child gets water from a kitchen tap

More NC utilities are detecting PFAS in drinking water, but some aren’t telling their customers

By: - September 27, 2023

Nearly a dozen public water systems in North Carolina, including four that had never previously reported PFAS in their drinking water, have detected levels of the toxic compound above the EPA’s proposed maximum contaminant level. And there is no state or federal requirement that these public water systems inform their customers of the results, leaving […]

This is a photo of a metal building, about a half mile long, that housed the former Alcoa plant in Badin, in Stanly County

In the shadow of Alcoa, West Badin residents want you to visit their town to see the environmental threats they live with every day

By: - September 25, 2023

The hulking metal shell of the former Alcoa plant in Badin, in Stanly County, is roughly a half-mile long and severs the west side — which is historically and predominantly Black — from the rest of town. Beneath the 700,000-square-foot building pollution from the smelting operations is curdling. For much of Alcoa’s tenure, there were […]

an aerial photo of a giant hog farm with eight long metal barns and two waste lagoons that appear to be purple

Ratified and en route to the governor, House Bill 600 defangs state environmental law

By: - September 25, 2023

Update, Oct. 2, 3:05 p.m.: Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed this bill; it now goes back to the legislature, which vote on whether to override the veto. This is the governor’s statement: “This bill is a hodgepodge of bad provisions that will result in dirtier water, discriminatory permitting and threats to North Carolina’s environment. It also […]

Water pours from a kitchen faucet

For the second time in two months, Burlington discharged toxic 1,4-Dioxane into Haw River, Pittsboro’s drinking water supply

By: - September 23, 2023

Update at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26.: The Town of Pittsboro released the first sampling results for 1,4-Dioxane: Raw Grab from Intake – 6.77 parts per billion Finished Water Grab – 5.26 bppb Chatham Park Tank – 3.23 ppb Chatham Forest Standpipe – 3.07 ppb Million Gallon Tank – 2.60 ppb Horton Tank – 1.74 […]

two firefighters spray foam from a large hose

State budget includes money for PFAS, higher fees for electric cars, DEQ bonuses for speed

By: - September 22, 2023

More than $55 million is included in the state budget to address PFAS contamination in drinking water, but given the vast scope of the problem in North Carolina, the money won’t go that far. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority in Wilmington would receive $35 million: Roughly half is allocated for public water extensions to private […]

This is a photo of a a plastic tray and cup caught in some branches in a Durham stream.

Keep North Carolina filthy: Proposed budget could limit cities, counties from enforcing litter laws

By: - September 21, 2023

This story has been updated with comments from Scott Mooneyham, spokesperson for the NC League of Municipalities, who could not be reached by deadline. Nearly 11.6 million pounds of litter was culled from North Carolina highways in 2022, according to transportation department figures, and that number doesn’t include the bags, bottles, dirty diapers, cigarette butts […]

five playing cars -- two aces, two eights and one that's not turned over

Who’s who on the NC Lottery Commission, potential overseer of casinos

By: - September 19, 2023

Faro, 5 Monte, Roulette, Keno, Bingo, Fan Tan, Twenty-one, Blackjack, Seven and a Half, 6 Klondike, Craps, Poker, Chuck a Luck, Chinese Chuck a Luck (Dai Shu), Wheel of 7 Fortune, Chemin de Fer, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Beat the Banker, Panguingue, Slot 8 machine: These are the many ways you could lose — or if […]

Vice President Kamala Harris descends an open-air stairway from Air Force 2 on the tarmac of Piedmont International Airport in Greensboro. The sky is clear and blue. She is wearing a gray pant suit. A soldier in his dress blue uniform stands at attention at the bottom of the stairs.

Vice President Kamala Harris to NC A&T students: ‘When you vote, it scares some folks.’

By: - September 17, 2023

This is what happens when the vice president of the United States visits Greensboro: Excitable German shepherds, restrained by their military handlers, sniff every duffel, trash can, and bathroom of a terminal at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Poised, yet nervy and as quiet as bats, Secret Service agents in dark suits and sunglasses scan the […]

a muddy creek

Durham housing developer allegedly violating Clean Water Act, jeopardizing Falls Lake

By: - September 12, 2023

Falls Lake is going through some things. Fertilizer is running off from farm fields, entering its tributaries. Toxic compounds known as PFAS, whose sources remain a mystery, have been detected at and near the dam. And when it rains, clay muck flows from large clear-cut lots, suffocating nearby streams that feed the lake. Although the […]

DEQ fights back against ruling in favor of Wake Stone mine near Umstead State Park

By: - September 11, 2023

Administrative Law Judge Donald Van der Vaart ignored evidence, committed logical errors and misinterpreted state law when he ruled in favor of Wake Stone, which plans to expand its Triangle quarry to abut Umstead State Park in Raleigh. Those are among the allegations included in documents filed last week by the NC Department of Environmental […]

the top of an oak tree seen from below

Over the past decade, Wake County lost 11,120 acres of trees — equivalent to 2,700 Walmart stores

By: - September 7, 2023

On the northern edge of downtown Raleigh, Capital Boulevard is a parched and treeless hellscape where the sun wilts all who dare to cut through its parking lots. New Bern Avenue, east of WakeMed toward Knightdale, is an endless steppe of pavement where people waiting for the No. 15 bus crowd under mangy crepe myrtles, […]

The back of a red sweatshirt reads "Made in the USA"

Labor Day numbers: Despite low unemployment, 7,200+ NC workers losing their jobs this year

By: - September 4, 2023

If you are fortunate to have Labor Day off, thank a union. Although there’s disagreement about who to credit for suggesting the holiday — Peter J. McGuire or Matthew Maguire — both men were leaders in their respective labor unions. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland made it an official federal holiday. (Black people and other […]