NC Department of Environmental Quality

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 7:48 a.m.: Because of the uncertainty about the presence of 1,4-Dioxane in the town’s drinking water, the Town of Pittsboro and Chatham Marketplace, 480 Hillsboro St, are offering free reverse osmosis (RO) treated water to Pittsboro water customers and customers of Aqua NC who receive their water from the Town of Pittsboro. Customers […]

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 […]

This map shows the location of the proposed 1,500-acre Piedmont Lithium mine, just east of Cherryville in Gaston County.

Piedmont Lithium gets cold shoulder in Gaston County

BY: - August 18, 2023

Locke Bell and Warren Snowdon hiked through a Gaston County forest, its foliage still full despite the lateness of the year. It was 2021, and they and some friends had spent the afternoon traversing creeks and streams and cliffs, and paying their respects at a family cemetery. “Oh my God, right through there,” Bell said, […]

a sign alongside a road reads "Stop RDU Quarry"

DEQ must grant Wake Stone’s mining permit, pay attorney’s fees, judge rules in a scolding opinion

BY: - August 15, 2023

Just two months into his job as director of the state Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, Brian Wrenn faced one of the most contentious mining applications in recent state history. Details of his decision, issued 681 days after the application was filed, would reveal the pressure, chaos and even rancor that was boiling […]

‘A large decaying red mass’: Fish kills, algal blooms increasing in NC

BY: - August 3, 2023

Recipe for an algal bloom: Heat a shallow bowl of lakes, creeks and sounds to summer temperatures, at least 80 degrees Add 14 hours of sunlight, daily Combine with copious amounts of wastewater, fertilizer runoff Let stand for two to three months Optional: Stir in fish The NC Department of Environmental Quality has received dozens […]

This map shows where DEQ has issued permits with some requirements or restrictions on discharge of 1,4-Dioxane. A table at the bottom of the story lists all the locations.

Investigations into spikes of 1,4-Dioxane in Asheboro, High Point still inconclusive

BY: - July 21, 2023

Until 1989, when the company declared bankruptcy, Seaboard Chemical Corporation in Jamestown, in Guilford County, dealt in the dirty business of solvents and fuels. Now the fallow property on Riverdale Drive lies behind a locked gate and a thicket of pine trees, what some local residents called the “1,4-Dioxane forest.” The groundwater beneath the former […]

Because of PFAS contamination, eat very little, if any fish from the Middle and Lower Cape Fear River, state health officials advise

BY: - July 13, 2023

Children, women under age 44, and people who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not eat many species of fish caught in the Middle and Lower Cape Fear River, state health officials announced today. And no one, regardless of age or gender, should eat more than one to seven meals of these fish per year. The […]

DEQ plans to set state limits on toxic PFAS in groundwater, rivers, lakes

BY: - July 13, 2023

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will pursue legally enforceable limits for several types of PFAS in groundwater and surface water, the agency announced yesterday.  Although many public water systems tap into rivers and reservoirs for drinking water, about a third of North Carolinians (3.3 million) rely on groundwater. DEQ Assistant Secretary Sushma Masemore told […]

Photo of the Colonial Pipeline tank farm in Greensboro. The tanks are shaped somewhat like domed hockey pucks, are white and have the Colonial Pipeline logo in red and blue on the side.

Colonial Pipeline tank farm in Greensboro cited for discharging MTBE at 312% above permit limit

BY: - July 10, 2023

State regulators have cited Colonial Pipeline for discharging MTBE, a toxic gasoline additive, at levels 312% above its permit limit from the company’s tank farm in Greensboro. It is the third such violation in less than 18 months. The most recent exceedances occurred in February 2023 and were included in the EPA’s latest compilation of […]

Sampson County residents tell DEQ to deny landfill gas permit because it lacks key details

BY: - June 29, 2023

A pack of people carrying signs congregated near the entrance to Clinton City Hall, bewildered by an admonition they had never seen at a state public hearing before. “No signs or posters” “No protesting or demonstrating” “No talking or shouting over recognized speakers” “Thank you for your cooperation.” The NC Department of Environmental Quality was […]

Coal ash sinkhole expands in Mooresville, contaminating stream while legal dispute delays cleanup

BY: - June 28, 2023

For the past three years, a sinkhole in a Mooresville parking lot has released coal ash into a tributary of Lake Norman, in part because of a legal impasse about who is responsible — the property owners or Duke Energy — for repairing the damage. The cause, says a lawyer for the property owners, is […]