This is a photo of a metal sculpture and monument to firefighters. The sculpture is of three firefighters, one helping a colleague who has collapsed. Another has a firehose as if putting out a fire.

NC fire departments stuck with 120,000 gallons of toxic foam; legislation has funds to buy it back

BY: - April 21, 2023

Fire departments across North Carolina have on hand more than 120,000 gallons of firefighting foam that contains toxic PFAS, according to state data, and have used it 51 times to extinguish blazes in eight months. For decades, PFAS-containing foam, known as AFFF, has been used to suppress fires involving petroleum products or other flammable liquids. […]

A map showing that an area in Winston-Salem near US 52 and Waughtown Street has many pollution sources and is 74% non-white and 88% low-income.

House Bill 689 would establish state policy on environmental justice

BY: - April 19, 2023

In just one census block group in south Winston-Salem, there are four hazardous waste sites, three landfills, two contaminated dry cleaners, three tracts that are legally allowed to spread soil contaminated with gasoline or oil, 36 spills from underground petroleum storage tanks and another 18 from those above ground.  Six lots have land use restrictions […]


U.S. House fails to override Biden veto of WOTUS legislation

BY: - April 19, 2023

The U.S. House on Tuesday failed to override a President Joe Biden veto, which means the administration’s regulation stays in place expanding which waters and wetlands can be regulated under the federal Clean Water Act. The House did not clear the two-thirds mark needed to overturn Biden’s veto of a resolution that would have blocked […]

NC State Capitol (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

Weekend reads: NC’s new Teacher of the Year, UNC losing faculty and staff, and one word makes a big difference for NC’s environment

BY: - April 16, 2023

In this issue: 1. One-word change in Farm Act could increase greenhouse gas emissions from hog farms A one-word change in the Farm Act could allow hog farmers to capture methane from their waste lagoons, but choose not to use the gas for energy. Instead, the farmer could merely send the potent greenhouse gas through […]

This photo shows a blanket of orange flames behind a chain link fence at the Wall Recycling facility in Raleigh.

Wall Recycling in Raleigh fined $64,000 for intentional fire that spiked harmful air pollutants

BY: - April 14, 2023

Last November, on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, Tom Harris was driving on Six Forks Road near I-540 in north Raleigh when he saw a large plume of smoke on the horizon. Although Harris, who works for the state Division of Air Quality, was on vacation, he followed the smoke to Gresham Road, where […]

a flame burns at a Louisiana refinery

EPA sued over failure to set, update pollution limits

BY: - April 13, 2023

More than a dozen environmental groups are suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to set water pollution limits for some industrial contaminants as well as its reluctance to update decades-old standards for others, arguing that the agency’s inaction amounts to a “free pass to pollute” for hundreds of chemical and fertilizer plants, […]

This aerial photograph shows the 352 acre Wolfspeed site where trees have been felled in preparation for construction

New Wolfspeed factory in Siler City would emit 203 tons of air pollutants per year

BY: - April 12, 2023

Update April 13, 12:06 p.m.: The NC Department of Environmental Quality today opened the public comment period for Wolfspeed’s air permit. Deadline is May 13. Details here. Wolfspeed, a manufacturer of key components for electric vehicles, would emit a half dozen air pollutants at its new Chatham County plant, totaling 203 tons per year, state documents […]

An aerial view of the Chemours plant

New EPA data shows NC released 59 million pounds of toxic chemicals in 2021, ranks 17th in US

BY: - April 12, 2023

More than 59 million pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment in North Carolina in 2021, according to new EPA data, the largest amount since 2015. Averaged across the state, that amount is equivalent to 1,046 pounds per square mile. The 2021 “Toxics Release Inventory” tracks discharges and emissions of nearly 800 harmful […]

One-word change in Farm Act could increase greenhouse gas emissions from hog farms

BY: - April 10, 2023

A one-word change in the Farm Act could allow hog farmers to capture methane from their waste lagoons, but choose not to use the gas for energy. Instead, the farmer could merely send the potent greenhouse gas through a flare and into the air. Current law allows for methane to be collected from the farms […]

Electric grid workers

Inside the battle over who gets to build the grid of the future

BY: - April 10, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy issued a draft report in February that found a “pressing need” for new electric transmission infrastructure across the country to improve reliability, connect a rapidly growing number of solar, wind and battery storage projects, supply increasing electric demand and alleviate scattered pockets of consistently high prices across the country. To […]

Wetland ducks

Biden vetoes attempt to repeal WOTUS rule on wetlands

BY: - April 7, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday vetoed a measure that would repeal a rule expanding which types of wetlands can be regulated under the Clean Water Act. Biden promised to veto the legislation that saw Democrats crossing party lines in both chambers to join Republicans in rolling back a rule that is unpopular with […]

Biden administration rolls out $585 million for Western water projects

BY: - April 6, 2023

The Biden administration will send $585 million to water projects in 11 Western states, Interior Department officials said Wednesday. The funding, provided in the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, will go toward 83 projects in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, California, North Dakota and Washington. The law provided $8.3 billion for […]