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North Carolina Department of Heath and Human Services

You normally don’t hear much about North Carolina’s state epidemiologist.

But it’s not every day that a scientist sends out a scathing letter of resignation.

That’s just what Dr. Megan Davies did late Tuesday night, citing what she sees as McCory administration officials misleading the public about whether or not well water near unlined coal ash ponds is safe to drink. 

Duke Energy's G.G. Allen Steam Station on Lake Wylie in Gaston County
Aaron Hartley / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Some well owners near coal plants say the resignation of North Carolina’s epidemiologist confirms what they’ve been saying for months: their water is not safe to drink.

Drawing shows design for the W.S. Lee Nuclear Plant in Cherokee County, S.C.
Westinghouse Electric Co./Duke Energy

Duke Energy is another step closer to winning approval to build a new nuclear power plant in South Carolina. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday it has completed the final safety evaluation for the proposed William States Lee plant in Cherokee, near Gaffney.

Map shows high temperatures for the mid-Atlantic region. Bright yellow signals temperatures in the 90s.
National Weather Service

With temperatures soaring last week, Duke Energy customers in North and South Carolina set a record for summertime energy use. Duke says customers used 20,671 megawatt hours of electricity between 4 and 5 pm on Wednesday, July 27. That beat the previous record of 20,628 megawatts set in 2007.

Environmental News Update

Aug 1, 2016
Pixabay.com

An environmental news update with a panel of environmental reporters. We get updates on plans for coal ash landfills, find out how and why North Carolina’s air quality has improved. You may have noticed the summer of 2016 has been hot – in fact, on average, the world has been two degrees hotter than what we experienced in the 20th century. What that means and its connection to the drought in the southwestern part of the state. Those stories and other environmental news.

David Boraks / WFAE

If you're on a North Carolina mountaintop on a sunny day this summer, expect a great view…  maybe the clearest in decades. State environmental officials say it’s the payoff from years of air quality improvements.

WFAE

The heat is back, and that's pushing power plants to the limit. Duke Energy is testing a new way to trim demand – with a competition that challenges customers to turn off the A/C on days when electricity demand is highest. Monday was one of those days. 

Coal ash ponds at Riverbend Steam Station in Mount Holly.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy has stopped draining coal ash ponds into Mountain Island Lake after recent county tests found elevated levels of arsenic in the water. State environmental regulators say they’re investigating whether Duke violated state law.

N.C. General Assembly

  A bill that would have banned wind farms across much of North Carolina died when the state legislature adjourned last week, but several lawmakers said Thursday they'll reintroduce it next year.  

Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation


 North Carolina lawmakers have sent Governor Pat McCrory a bill that would relax the state's coal ash cleanup law. It passed the House, 82-32, Thursday night and immediately drew criticism from environmentalists.

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