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 […]
Lawyer fees draw scrutiny as Camp Lejeune claims stack up
David and Adair Keller started their married life together in 1977 at Camp Lejeune, a military training base on the Atlantic Coast in Jacksonville, North Carolina. David was a Marine Corps field artillery officer then, and they lived together on the base for about six months. But that sojourn had an outsize impact on their […]
NC fire departments stuck with 120,000 gallons of toxic foam; legislation has funds to buy it back
Fire departments across North Carolina have on hand more than 120,000 gallons of firefighting foam that contains toxic PFAS, according to state data, and have used it 51 times to extinguish blazes in eight months. For decades, PFAS-containing foam, known as AFFF, has been used to suppress fires involving petroleum products or other flammable liquids. […]
EPA sued over failure to set, update pollution limits
More than a dozen environmental groups are suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to set water pollution limits for some industrial contaminants as well as its reluctance to update decades-old standards for others, arguing that the agency’s inaction amounts to a “free pass to pollute” for hundreds of chemical and fertilizer plants, […]
EPA proposes new rule to crack down on PFAS, forever chemicals in our water
The EPA today announced its proposed maximum contaminant levels — MCLs — for six types of toxic PFAS in drinking water and acknowledged that no amount of these compounds is safe. “EPA anticipates if fully implemented the rule will prevent tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses or deaths,” the agency wrote in a slide […]
After years of delay EPA to commence clean-up of Superfund sites in Gastonia, Yadkinville, Charlotte and Jacksonville
The forest lay still, save for the rustling of leaves of bamboo. It was in a clearing on this 15 acres in rural Gastonia that Carl Hendrix, now deceased, scratched out a living. He took in old chemical drums from nearby industry, rinsed them, poured the toxic dregs on the ground, then flattened the metal for sale as scrap. Over the past 60 years the chemical TCE, found in solvents, has soaked through the earth, meandered through the subsurface rock, inched its way below Hemphill Road and contaminated at least eight private drinking water wells, plus another community well that served an entire neighborhood. TCE entered seeps that fed an unnamed creek where children used to play.,/p>
Durham City Council rejects huge housing development proposal in Falls Lake watershed
Competing concerns over Triangle's housing shortage and fragile environment fuel 4-2 vote. The contentious Kemp Road project – 655 single-family houses and townhomes on 280 acres in the environmentally fragile Falls Lake watershed – is dead, at least temporarily. But before sticking a fork in the proposal, Durham City Council members dug into several underlying issues vexing residents of one of the fastest-growing areas in the country: housing, gentrification and race.
Touting his environmental ‘success,’ DeSantis is more con man than conservationist
Maybe it’s because I’m from Florida, home to sooooo many slick talkers, but I love a good yarn about con artists. “The Sting,” “American Hustle,” “The Music Man” — the list of great grifter movies is a long one, including “The Grifters.” These stories show how some people can weave a magical spell with words […]
Riverkeepers discover extremely high levels of fecal bacteria in waterways near major hog waste spill that was reportedly cleaned up
Two North Carolina riverkeepers have documented high levels of fecal bacteria in Wayne County waterways near White Oak Farms, raising questions about the thoroughness of the cleanup of a major swine waste spill last year. White Oak Farms near Fremont hasn’t raised hogs since December 2020, but operated a biodigester that used dead pigs, deli […]
Monday numbers: A closer look at the problem of contaminated drinking water wells in NC
Under a special state fund 658 drinking water wells were sampled for contamination, many of them in Wake County Since 2007 state regulators have sampled more than 5,500 private wells for potential contamination under the Bernard Allen Memorial Emergency Drinking Water Fund, according to an annual report filed by the Department of Environmental Quality. The state legislature created the fund -- named after a former Wake County state legislator -- in 2006.
Coal plant operators shirking responsibilities on ash cleanup, report contends
Duke Energy facility in NC cited as among the worst contamination sites, but company pushes back In the wake of major coal ash spills from power plant containment ponds in Tennessee and into the Dan River along the North Carolina and Virginia border, the federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 laid out the first federal rules for managing the ash, one of the nation’s largest waste streams, and the toxins it contains.
U.S. Supreme Court mulls federal water rules, wetlands designations in Idaho case
The U.S. Supreme Court opened its term Monday with an Idaho case that could significantly restrict the federal government’s power to enforce clean water laws and prove crucial in determining wetland protections. The oral arguments came just months after the court’s 6-3 conservative majority limited executive authority to address climate change in a case involving […]