air pollution

a family on a couch

In Robeson County, asthma rates are twice the state average — worsened by air pollution

BY: - June 3, 2023

This story is part of a series that NC Newsline is publishing about environmental justice issues and cumulative pollution impacts in Robeson County. Funding for this project comes from Kozik Environmental Justice Reporting Grants funded by the National Press Foundation and the National Press Club Journalism Institute. The Campbell Soup company and the Silgan container […]

burners on a gas stove

Behind the scenes of an energy bill, propane and natural gas interests run a full-court press

BY: - May 31, 2023

Text messages and emails obtained by NC Newsline show the extent of involvement by the gas and propane industries in advocating for House Bill 130, which would prohibit local governments from restricting those fuels in commercial and residential buildings. The bill was heard today in the Senate Agriculture, Energy and Environment committee, but only for […]

The Lumber River

Newsline special report: A community inundated with industrial waste

BY: - May 27, 2023

[Editor’s note: This story on water pollution is among several that NC Newsline is publishing about environmental justice issues and cumulative pollution impacts in Robeson County. Read previous stories in the series about biogas projects near Maxton and a proposed private military training site a few miles from Rowland. Look for more stories about air […]

a coal-fired power plant sends emissions into the sky

EPA again proposes power plant carbon rules

BY: - May 15, 2023

The Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan — intended to cut carbon emissions from power plants — was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Trump administration’s much-criticized replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, derided as a “tortured series of misreadings” of the U.S. Clean Air Act, was also tossed by a federal court. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Two dozen violations and $40,000 later, Stericycle in Haw River still pumping pollutants into vulnerable communities

BY: - June 9, 2022

Stericycle, a multinational company with a facility in Haw River, has again been cited by the state for Clean Air Act violations related to its incineration of medical, hospital and infectious waste. The facility at 1168 Porter Ave., has amassed at least two dozen air quality violations over the past decade, totaling nearly $40,000 in civil penalties.

DEQ approves permit for NC Renewable Power, a chronic violator of the Clean Air Act

BY: - May 24, 2022

The NC Department of Environmental Quality has issued a an air permit to an energy facility that has racked up a long history of violations and fines, and sits in the middle of an environmental justice neighborhood in Lumberton. North Carolina Renewable Power, which burns poultry litter and virgin wood to produce energy, has a […]

Yadkin County residents dig in for a fight against a proposed mine near homes, elementary school

BY: - March 17, 2022

After living all over North Carolina, Terry and Joyce Long finally came home.  In 2020, they bought a tract of land in Hamptonville adjacent to property that had been in Joyce’s family for five generations. Joyce grew up in this Yadkin County town of just 6,100 people, and now she and Terry could raise their four children here, a quiet, rural idyll of forests and farms and night skies that light up with stars.

‘I had a panic attack,’ says Forsyth County official about air pollution from Weaver Fertilizer fire

BY: - March 10, 2022

Fertilizer chemicals also stored near other low-income neighborhoods, communities of color Thirty-six hours after a catastrophic fire broke out at the Weaver Fertilizer plant, the air in this Winston-Salem neighborhood was practically unbreathable. Levels of fine particulate matter, known as PM 2.5, peaked at more than 30 times the EPA’s eight-hour average.

Despite multiple fines, violations, NC Renewable Power is still a chronic and major air polluter

BY: - March 9, 2022

Robeson County facility seeks new air permit even as state records detail a long trail of failures as fines Tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Dozens of violations. Millions of tons of air pollutants. North Carolina Renewable Power in Robeson County was supposed to be part of the solution for Duke Energy to meet its renewable energy goals.