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 […]

U.S. House plan for new mining royalties draws objections from Western senators

BY: and - October 6, 2021

U.S. senators of both parties at a hearing Tuesday rejected House Democrats’ plans to impose billions of dollars in royalties and other fees on companies that mine for gold, copper, lithium and other minerals, largely in Southwestern states. Among the opponents was Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, who said she objected to the House proposal […]

Peligro inminente: Una antigua planta de misiles del Ejército ha contaminado un vecindario negro y latino durante 30 años

BY: - September 8, 2021

El Ejército y los propietarios privados han permitido que los contaminantes tóxicos se enconen sin tener que pagar ninguna multa, mientras los residentes soportan las repercusiones medioambientales. Esta es la primera entrega de un artículo de dos partes sobre el peligro de contaminación que supone una antigua fábrica de misiles en Burlington para una comunidad […]

Industry released 39 million pounds of pollution into the environment last year, most of it into the air

BY: - January 18, 2021

North Carolina industry released the least amount of air pollution last year — 21.5 million pounds — since 2003, according to federal data released last week. Releases to land were also at 16-year lows, but discharges to waterways — 8.1 million pounds — were the highest since 2015. Releases for air, land and water totaled 39 million pounds.

Gas leak less than a mile from new Aberdeen Elementary School shows perils of building in an industrial zone

BY: - October 12, 2020

Natural gas continues to leak from a ruptured line in Aberdeen about eight-tenths of a mile from the new Aberdeen Elementary School, whose location has concerned many parents because it is in an industrial area. There have been no evacuations or injuries, according to town Fire Chief Phillip Richardson, but NC Highway 5 is closed. Contractors […]

Comments due today on proposed state rule to loosen regulations on digital billboards

BY: - March 5, 2020

North Carolina environmental advocacy groups are calling on concerned groups and individuals to weigh in by today’s deadline in opposition to a proposal from the state Department of Transportation to loosen billboard regulations. The proposal would override local ordinances and allow billboards with a state permit to be converted to digital and raised to 50 […]

Not-so-clean North Carolina generated 501.4 million pounds of chemical waste in 2018

BY: - February 28, 2020

North Carolina’s industrial facilities emit or discharge an average of more than a half-ton of pollution per square mile, which places the state among the top third nationwide based on that measurement. With 1,022 pounds per square mile, North Carolina is ranked 19th of 56 states and US territories, according to recent Toxics Release Inventory […]

Critics warn Trump EPA’s coal ash plan will let polluters off the hook

BY: - September 24, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration wants to give electric utilities a pass on proving they could finance a hazardous waste cleanup in the event of a Superfund disaster. The proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says electric utilities should not have to make “financial assurances” to cover the risk the industry will produce […]

After Florence, the “unequal distribution of catastrophe” in North Carolina

BY: - September 19, 2018

Since Hurricane Florence dropped more than 30 inches of rain on parts of North Carolina, Policy Watch’s Lisa Sorg has been dutifully tracking the environmental catastrophes — many of them, quite simply, predictable in nature. But if you missed it, Duke University law professor Jedediah Purdy authored an illuminating take Tuesday in The New Yorker […]

Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board could leverage local communities to pressure General Assembly for stronger laws

BY: - July 16, 2018

  What the EPA won’t do because its leadership is beholden to polluting industries. What DEQ can’t do for lack of funding and political power. What many local governments refuse to do for fear industry will pass them over. The state’s 16-member Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board is charged, if not explicitly, to do […]


Editorial: Cooper, thankfully, putting an end to years of lax environmental oversight

BY: - December 21, 2017

This morning’s Fayetteville Observer has a fine editorial that sums up the sad state of environmental protection efforts in North Carolina. Its accurate conclusion: Years of both benign and toxic neglect have taken a terrible toll. This trend has been especially destructive in recent years under conservative rule during which the very idea of environmental […]

Instead of curbing pollution, state lawmakers consider funding chemical treatment for Jordan Lake

BY: - April 28, 2017

[dropcap] T [/dropcap] o clean up the pollution in Jordan Lake, North Carolina lawmakers have tried arguing. They’ve tried SolarBees. They’ve even tried ignoring the problem. All those tactics have failed. Now state officials are examining a potential chemical treatment for the lake — yet another experiment on a vital drinking water source for more than […]