Energy & Environment

News and information about energy, environment or both from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 



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.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican lawmakers are battling over the General Assembly's methods to scrutinize a side deal the governor reached last year with developers of a natural gas pipeline.

A legislative oversight committee agreed last month to hire an investigative firm led by former IRS and FBI agents to examine the January 2018 memorandum of understanding between Cooper and utilities building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The decision followed months in which Cooper and his office declined to answer directly all of the legislators' questions or provide documents they requested.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Legal delays on key environmental permits for the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline are starting to hit home for the pipeline's owners - and raise concerns among investors.

A Duke Energy worker uses a drone to examine damage to Puerto Rico's electric system in 2018. The company now is considering a bid to run the system.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is among four finalists chosen to compete for the right to take over Puerto Rico's troubled electricity distribution system.

Barry Duckworth of Sherrills Ford spoke during a public meeting Thursday about coal ash at Duke Energy's Marshall Steam Station on Lake Norman.
David Boraks / WFAE

More than 500 people packed into a school gym in Catawba County Thursday night for a public meeting about how state regulators should require Duke Energy to clean up coal ash at nearby Marshall Steam Station.

It wasn't supposed to be a public hearing, but people demanded to be heard.

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

The state Department of Environmental Quality has begun public meetings to discuss how coal ash should be cleaned up at six Duke Energy sites around the state. They include plants on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie.

Duke has offered $62 milllion in rebates over five years to help pay for solar panels on a home, business or nonprofit rooftops.
Duke Energy

For the second year in a row, North Carolina homeowners quickly snapped up all of Duke Energy's rebates for installing solar panels.

In February 2017, workers used a giant crane to lower a containment vessel ring into place at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County, S.C.

Dominion Energy of Virginia said Wednesday it has completed its acquisition of South Carolina utility SCANA. The closing comes after Dominion won final approval two weeks ago from South Carolina regulators.


North Carolina wildlife officials are warning of a deadly disease encroaching on the state's deer population.

A stump is all that's left of the old tulip poplar at The Duke Mansion.
George Lainis / The Duke Mansion

North Carolina lost a lot of old trees this year to storms, like hurricanes Florence and Michael. Those made the headlines along with storm coverage. But hundreds more didn’t, like the two-century-old granddaddy of a tree cut down this week at The Duke Mansion in Charlotte.

Former New York Mayor met with Mayor Vi Lyles (left) and other city officials at Seventh Street Public Market before Wednesday's announcement.
David Boraks / WFAE

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Charlotte Wednesday to announce a $2.5 million grant from his foundation toward the city's efforts to fight climate change. It's part of a $70 million campaign to tackle a problem Bloomberg said Congress and the White House are ignoring.

A rooftop solar project at Birdsong Brewing in Charlotte was among those that got Duke Energy rebates in 2018.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy says it expects rebates for rooftop solar panels in North Carolina to total about $10 million this year. Applications for the second year of the five-year program will be available beginning Jan. 2. 

Santee Cooper

State regulators approved Dominion Energy’s $15 billion purchase of troubled South Carolina-based utility SCANA Friday. South Carolina’s Public Service Commission approved the Virginia-based company’s offer of cash and stock to buy SCANA, which is the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas.

Map shows the route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The builders of the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline say they will appeal a federal court ruling Thursday that invalidated a permit allowing the pipeline to be built through two national forests and across the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cannot be built across national forest land and the Appalachian Trail.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Updated at 8:55 p.m.
A federal appeals court in Virginia has ruled that the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cannot be built across national forest land and the Appalachian Trail in west central Virginia.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The company building the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline says it has halted construction after a federal appeals court put on hold a key environmental permit.  

Edgar Miller
Yadkin Riverkeepr

Yadkin Riverkeeper, an environmental group that keeps watch on the Yadkin River, has announced new leadership.

Edgar Miller is the organization's new executive director and Brian Fannon has been named the Yadkin Riverkeeper after serving as the interim riverkeeper since April.


The lagoons were supposed to be gone by now.

Nearly 20 years ago, North Carolina faced a reckoning. Hurricane Floyd inundated the state, flooding the open pits where farmers store hog waste. 

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

North Carolina's top environmental official hopes one of the country's largest chemical companies will change how it operates now that it has been hit with the largest penalty a polluter has had to pay the state.

Sam Perkins is stepping down after five years as the Catawba Riverkeeper.
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Updated 2:25 p.m.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation has announced a change of leadership.

Sam Perkins has stepped down after five years as the Catawba Riverkeeper, monitoring the health and environmental concerns about the waterway.