In a bout between economic development and environmental justice, the latter rarely wins
This story is the latest in a series of reports 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. In 2013, after local residents […]
Newsline special report: A community inundated with industrial waste
[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 Paxton and a proposed private military training site a few miles from Rowland. Look for more stories about air […]
Hog industry plans major new biogas project in Robeson County, but details are elusive
In any given year, roughly 300,000 hogs are born, weaned, fattened and slaughtered in Robeson County. During their short lifetimes, the animals excrete about 333 million gallons of feces and urine that percolates in open-air lagoons. The rancid cesspools and vast fields where the waste is sprayed are poorly suited for the terrain. Dimpled with […]
House Bill 689 would establish state policy on environmental justice
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 […]
Sampson County site ranks No. 2 among U.S landfills for methane emissions. Rotting food is part of the problem.
Twenty-five million tons of garbage is rotting in the Sampson County landfill: disposable diapers from Durham, moldy leftovers from refrigerators in Wake, face masks and old toothbrushes from Brunswick. Over time the detritus of our lives, particularly food waste, breaks down in the landfill and emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that ranks only second to carbon dioxide in driving human-caused climate change.
Supreme Court admissions case from NC could help upend nation’s environmental justice laws
In recent years, more states have crafted environmental justice policies to help communities of color plagued by polluted air and water, poor health outcomes and limited access to green space. But now they fear that work could be upended by a pair of pending U.S. Supreme Court cases examining affirmative action admissions policies at universities. If the court strikes down affirmative action, many state lawmakers believe, the ruling could open legal challenges to “race-conscious” laws that seek to help marginalized communities.
Little appetite for Manchin permitting bill in congressional lame-duck session
Environmental advocates say industry push for weaker fossil fuel regulatory process would be hugely destructive Among the items on Congress’ lengthy to-do list by the end of the year is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal to speed up the federal government’s permitting process that certifies energy projects do not harm the environment. But the bill, […]
After community outcry, EPA won’t send soil from Superfund site to Sampson County landfill
Facing vigorous opposition from environmental justice advocates, the EPA won’t send contaminated soil from the Kerr-McGee Superfund site in Navassa, in Brunswick County, to the Sampson County landfill, federal records show. The new solution is not only cheaper, but averts the problem of moving the environmental problem from one community of color to another. Originally the […]
U.S. House members raise doubts about Manchin environmental permitting deal
More than 50 U.S. House members are objecting to a push to revise federal environmental permitting requirements for energy projects — part of a deal Democratic leaders struck with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III to win passage of their climate, health and taxes bill that passed last month. The House members signed onto a letter […]
Moving the misery around: EPA approves plan to truck contaminated soil from one Black community to another
Contaminated soil from a Superfund site in Navassa will be shipped to one of three landfills outside Brunswick County, likely moving toxic pollution from one non-white or low-income community to another. The proposed cleanup plan, approved by the EPA in late May, highlights the environmental injustices that occur when counties, regulators and polluters offload their problems to communities of color.
Two dozen violations and $40,000 later, Stericycle in Haw River still pumping pollutants into vulnerable communities
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.