Department of Environmental Quality

JON BUTTERWORTH / UNSPLASH

WILMINGTON — North Carolina's top environmental agency is accepting public comments about the regulation of a chemical pesticide used in log fumigation through the end of August.

Environmental groups tracked logs that were cut from North Carolina forests to Enviva's plants.
Dogwood Alliance

A big producer of wood pellets has agreed to install pollution controls at two pellet plants, in Richmond and Sampson counties.

Amy Brown of Belmont urged regulators and Gov. Roy Cooper to require Duke Energy to remove coal ash from Allen Steam Station.
David Boraks / WFAE

More than 200 people came to a public meeting in Gaston County Tuesday night to let state environmental officials know how they feel about coal ash at the Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie. Their main message to regulators and Governor Roy Cooper: They want the ash removed, here and across the state.

Coal ash belmont
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Residents around some Duke Energy coal ash dumps have been urging North Carolina regulators this month to require Duke to dig up the ash and move it to new, lined landfills. The last in a series of public meetings is Tuesday night, this time focusing on the Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie.

Gov. Roy Cooper spoke in Cary just before signing an executive order to fight climate change.
WRAL.com

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order to fight climate change that sets new goals for reducing the use of fossil fuels and promoting environmentally friendly policies in state government Monday.

Map shows the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's proposed route through eastern North Carolina. It will orginate in West Virginia and run through Virginia as well.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Updated 6:35 p.m.
North Carolina environmental regulators have issued a key water permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It's one of the last permits needed before construction begins in the state.

Duke Energy's Marshall Plant on Lake Norman has about 32 million tons of coal ash stored on site.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has agreed to pay an $84,000 fine and will speed up coal ash cleanups at three coal-fired power plants in western North Carolina. The proposed agreement with state environmental regulators deals with pollutants seeping from coal ash ponds near the Marshall plant on Lake Norman, the Allen plant in Gaston County and the Rogers plant in Rutherford County.

NCDEQ

Former state environmental secretary Donald van der Vaart has resigned from the Department of Environmental Quality, amid an investigation.  A DEQ spokeswoman confirmed his departure Wednesday.  

After Democrat Roy Cooper defeated Republican Governor Pat McCrory a year ago, state environmental secretary Donald van der Vaart gave up his office. After all, he was a McCrory appointee. But he didn't leave the agency. Instead he demoted himself and the department's No. 2 official, John Evans, to staff positions. The two men have since spoken out on policy issues, sometimes at odds with state policy. Now the Department of Environmental Quality has put the van der Vaart and Evans on paid  "investigatory leave."  WFAE's David Boraks joins "All Things Considered" host Mark Rumsey to talk about the situation.

The Metrolina Warehouse in Davidson was an asbestos factory from 1930 to 1960.  A developer wants to tear it down and build apartments.
David Boraks / WFAE

A plan to redevelop an old mill in downtown Davidson has led to the discovery - or re-discovery - of disease-causing asbestos on the site and around the neighborhood. As officials figure out how to clean it up, historical fears and concerns have surfaced as well.

Trucks move coal ash at Duke's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman. The company plans to cover ash in place at the plant.
David Boraks / WFAE

Time may be running out for North Carolina lawmakers to reach a compromise on how to update the state's coal ash cleanup law. That's according to the chief sponsor of a bill that Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed last week.

Amy Brown of Belmont lives near Duke's Allen Steam Station and has been receiving bottled water since 2015. She spoke at a rally in March.
David Boraks / WFAE

 

Hundreds of people crowded public hearings in Rowan and Gaston counties Tuesday night for a chance to tell regulators what they think of coal-ash ponds near their homes.  At Gaston College, more than 30 speakers raised concerns about the ash stored for the past 60 years next to Duke’s Allen Steam Station, in Belmont.  

NC Department of Environmental Quality

Two public hearings Tuesday will help state regulators decide how and when Duke Energy must deal with coal ash at plants in Belmont and Salisbury. 

NC Department of Environmental Quality

Public hearings begin this week on proposed rules and deadlines for closing Duke Energy’s North Carolina coal ash sites. The rules are important because they’ll set deadlines for cleanups and determine whether Duke gets to cap the ash in place, or must move it to more secure locations.

Duke Energy

 A state administrative law judge has rejected local activists’ appeals of state permits allowing Duke Energy to dump coal ash at old clay mines in central North Carolina.

David Boraks / WFAE

Two years ago, 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled near Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden, North Carolina.  That prompted new state rules and forced Duke to speed coal ash cleanups there and at other old coal plants, including Riverbend near Charlotte.  Some environmentalists support Duke's approach, while others are fighting it. WFAE environmental reporter David Boraks has been visiting some of these sites and has this report.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC.gov

North Carolina is continuing to fight new EPA rules that limit carbon emissions from power plants. Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Wednesday night the state has joined 27 other states in asking the US Supreme Court to delay the Clean Power Plan, while the states challenge the rules in court.

David Boraks / WFAE

Protesters were a fixture outside the recent climate change summit in Paris, calling on world leaders to agree on a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On Wednesday, local activists staged a rally of their own, supporting a new federal plan addressing climate change - and opposing North Carolina’s response.