Energy/Environment

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.

A Conversation With Duke Energy

Jun 3, 2014
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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 

Exploring Local Farms And Local Food

May 15, 2014
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.

-ted / Flickr

Almost two million people in the Carolinas rely on the Catawba River, or the Wateree River, which it becomes in South Carolina. This week, the region’s water utilities released what they call the most significant plan for the Catawba’s water supply since reservoirs were built in the early 1900s.


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