Energy/Environment

Local News
9:26 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Huge Bill Cuts Environmental Regulations, Adds Beer

A haze camera run by Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environment Services.
Credit LUESA

About a month into this legislative session, North Carolina lawmakers are keeping up last year’s torrid pace. One bill currently making its way through contains dozens of changes to state laws from A to V. That’s Air Quality to Venomous Reptiles.

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Local News
9:24 am
Tue June 3, 2014

What New EPA Proposed Rule On Power Plant Emissions Means For NC

EPA

North Carolina will have to reduce its rate of carbon emissions from power plants 40 percent to comply with a rule the Environmental Protection Agency proposed Monday. That's among the larger reductions the EPA is calling for in its push to reduce emissions.

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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

A Conversation With Duke Energy

Aerial view of the retired Dan River Steam Station and ash basins.
Duke Energy Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We haven’t had the chance to sit down with Duke Energy since that unfortunate coal ash spill – where more than 30,000 cubic yards of coal ash were dumped into the Dan River. Duke and the EPA recently reached a deal for the clean-up. And Duke just released their 2013 sustainability report. We’ll be joined by two of their environmental executives.

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Local News
10:12 am
Fri May 30, 2014

NC And Climate Change, Part 3: Agriculture Accidentally Prepares

Washed out tomatoes lie on Barbee Farm in Concord last summer, after some of the wettest weather the state has ever had.
Credit Michael Tomsic / WFAE

North Carolina’s agriculture industry supplies nearly a fifth of the state’s jobs and revenue, according to the Department of Agriculture. It is also perhaps the industry most threatened by the increasing temperatures and extreme weather associated with climate change, but studies show only a minority of farmers believe in it. Nevertheless, the industry is unintentionally preparing.


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Local News
5:30 am
Thu May 29, 2014

NC And Climate Change, Part 2: The Top Threats

A dredging pipe extends down Wrightsville Beach.
Credit Duncan McFadyen / WFAE

The southeast United States faces a host of threats from climate change. Intensifying temperatures and extreme weather could affect anything from dam safety to airport tarmacs to the range of diseases that can thrive. The most recent National Climate Assessment points to three areas most threatened: coastal communities, the agriculture industry, and water availability. In the second of a three part series, WFAE looks at how the state is, or isn’t, preparing to adapt.


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Local News
5:30 am
Wed May 28, 2014

NC And Climate Change, Part 1: Preparation Stops

Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina has a complicated relationship with climate change. The state was one of the first to consider its impacts and possible responses, but today—as reports like the National Climate Assessment issue ever more dire warnings—few policies are in place to adapt. In the first of a three part series, WFAE explores the shift.


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Local News
5:30 am
Mon May 26, 2014

NC Legislature Debating Fracking Bill

The North Carolina House this week is expected to take up legislation that would allow the state to issue permits for fracking of oil and gas next year.


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Local News
9:57 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Dan River Update: A Fraction Of Ash Removed

A plume of coal ash flowing into the Dan River, after the failure of a Duke coal ash pond in February.
Credit Appalachian Voices

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it has struck an agreement with Duke Energy to clean up coal ash from the Dan River. The EPA has been overseeing the company’s response, since a storage pond failed at a Duke coal plant in February, spilling at least 30,000 tons of the waste into the river. But the agreement binds Duke to clean up ash as the EPA directs and to reimburse the agency for its costs. EPA officials say that comes to about $800,000 for the past three-plus months of clean-up.


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Local News
4:45 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Airport Or No, Duke Will Remove Riverbend Coal Ash

The primary coal ash pond at Riverbend. The grey bed in the foreground is coal ash.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy officials confirm the company will remove coal ash at the Riverbend power plant above Mountain Island Lake, even though the company’s proposal to send the ash to Charlotte airport is encountering resistance. 

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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Exploring Local Farms And Local Food

Vegetables
anathea Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We've all seen the bumper sticker - 'No Farms. No Food.' While agriculture remains North Carolina's largest industry, a new census from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that farmers in the state are getting older and scarcer. Experts say we need more growers and more attention on building the local and regional food economies. Eating local isn’t just the hip thing to do anymore; many see it as vital for environmental sustainability as well. Farmers markets are growing in popularity, more restaurants are locally-sourcing their ingredients and we're seeing the rise of agritourism that connects the eaters with the growers. Ahead of the 'Know Your Farms' tour this weekend, we meet some of our local farmers and food systems experts to find out about their challenges and discuss the future of food and farming in the Charlotte region.

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