Environment

David Boraks / WFAE

  More than 150 people showed up at a hearing in Hickory Tuesday night to express concern about the 30 million tons of coal ash stored at Duke Energy’s Marshall Steam Station, on Lake Norman. Thirty-two speakers quoted biblical passages, read poetry and urged state regulators to require Duke to transfer the ash to new, lined landfills, away from the lake.    

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.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

The City of Charlotte has fined owners of the NASCAR Plaza building in uptown Charlotte for a November fuel spill that killed and injured wildlife in nearby Little Sugar Creek. City officials say cleanup costs for building owner Parkway Properties totaled about $83,000 - including a $4,200 fine.

Catawba Lands Conservancy

Congress last week approved a bill that makes tax incentives permanent for agreements that conserve land and preserve open space. Lands conservancies are calling it the most important legislation in decades for their movement.
 
Since 2006, landowners have been allowed to take tax deductions for donating land or granting conservation easements - promises not develop their land. That’s been an incentive for property owners to work with local lands conservancies, the non-profit groups that manage conservation deals.
 

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

Workers have mostly contained a 1,000-gallon diesel spill from an uptown office building into Little Sugar Creek last week. The spill affected birds and turtles along the waterway, and county officials say they’re studying whether to issue a fine.

Mary Newsom

This weekend there were a couple of walks held in Charlotte to help residents pay attention to a particular part of their neighborhoods.  WFAE’s Sarah Delia checked out one of the walks that aimed to teach and show what exactly lives in our creeks. 


NC Office of State Budget and Management

Governor Pat McCrory released his budget plan, his proposal for how the state should spend money for the next two years. It distributes more than $45 billion from the state’s general fund, or more than $100 billion when including all the other fees, federal dollars, and various revenue streams the state uses to fund services. The final budget may look quite a bit different once state lawmakers are through, but this proposal is where the debate begins. 

Taxes

Plastics And The Environment

May 9, 2014
NOAA PIFSC CRED

Plastics have become a huge part of our lives, whether in the form of bottles, bags, or packaging. The hope is that these items are reused or recycled, but recycling programs can be expensive, and many items end up in landfills or, worse, in our waterways. Our guests today are working to educate people on what happens to plastics. We meet a representative from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, an artist who uses plastic debris to create environmental art, and a local sustainability officer.

New Species Move To Mecklenburg

Apr 4, 2014
JK Killia (left) Jim deVries (right) / 2014 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report

Mecklenburg County has some new residents. Animals not native to the county have moved in over the past couple of decades. One possible reason is climate change.


CharMeck.org

Every two years Mecklenburg County does an environmental assessment and delivers an environmental report card of sorts. The report card for the last two years has just been released and we’ll meet with two officials to see how our region fared in Air, Land, Water and Waste use and efficiency. In most aspects the county has fared well but the recession did have an impact in some areas. We’ll find out which ones, what aspects of our environment passed with flying colors and what has room for improvement. We check the county’s environmental grade.

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