Sound Rivers

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 […]

18 groups petition Gov. Cooper for more COVID-19 data transparency, especially from meat-packing plants

BY: - June 17, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in North Carolina, there is still a lack of data regarding outbreaks at meat-packing plants, where employees work close to one another on assembly lines and kill floors. The dearth of transparency by both the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the […]

Swim alert: Sound Rivers announces areas with high levels of bacteria

BY: - June 12, 2020

During this week’s sampling, Sound Rivers has found that three sites in the Upper Neuse watershed showed high levels of fecal bacteria. The bacteria tested for E. coli can be found in freshwater and is a good indicator of recent fecal contamination. The levels of fecal bacteria at these sites exceeded the recommended state and federal criteria for […]

Hitting the water on Memorial Day weekend? Sound Rivers tells you where contamination is.

BY: - May 22, 2020

Sound Rivers, a nonprofit environmental group, launches its summer waterway testing in the Upper Neuse River watershed this weekend, and has found five sites with high levels of fecal bacteria. The bacteria tested for — E.coli  — can be found in freshwater and indicates likely fecal contamination. If you ingest or touch the contaminated water, there […]

NC Supreme Court rules in favor of attorney general in Smithfield case, deals setback to conservatives

BY: - April 3, 2020

The North Carolina Supreme Court delivered a blow to conservatives today, ruling that the attorney general’s office is within its authority to allocate environmental grants from the historic Smithfield Foods agreement. In its decision, the Supreme Court reversed the state appellate court’s ruling against the attorney general’s office. It returned the case to the appeal court […]

Appellate court ruling could funnel Smithfield agreement funds away from environmental protection

BY: - September 5, 2018

                    [bctt tweet=”Smithfield’s payments weren’t penalties, but voluntary contributions to burnish its image by working toward better waste management solutions” username=”NCPolicyWatch”]Francis X. De Luca can’t sue the state of North Carolina over an 18-year-old Smithfield agreement, the NC Court of Appeals ruled yesterday, but the former […]

In North Carolina, several endangered species are on the ropes

BY: - June 28, 2018

The survival of several threatened and endangered species in North Carolina became even more precarious this week, as government officials published preliminary decisions on the red wolf, dwarf wedgemussel and yellow lance mussel. The saga of the endangered red wolf in northeastern North Carolina has dragged on for years. Since the mid-2000s, when the population peaked […]

“Unsubstantiated by competent evidence”: Judge rules against Civitas’s Francis De Luca in Smithfield Foods case

BY: - October 23, 2017

Francis De Luca tried to thread a legal needle but instead poked himself in the eye. In a lawsuit filed last October, De Luca, the director of conservative group Civitas, had claimed that millions of dollars generated by a 2000 settlement agreement between the state attorney general’s office and Smithfield Foods were being unconstitutionally disbursed. […]