What's Happening

Environment

NC panel signs off on Duke Energy orders on rates, coal ash

By Alanna Joyner / April 19, 2021

On Friday, the N.C. Utilities Commission approved two orders involving Duke Energy’s two electric subsidiaries in the state over rate increases requested back in 2019 and a settlement announced in January by Duke Energy, Attorney General Josh Stein and a conservation group over how coal ash clean-up cost. According to the Triad Business Journal, the…

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Duke Energy customers to save $1.1 billion in settlement over coal ash cleanup costs

By Alanna Joyner / January 26, 2021

Duke Energy, North Carolina officials and the Sierra Club announced Monday an agreement over the coal ash cleanup. Duke Energy agreed to pay over $1 billion to recycle the ash and close the plants producing them, but the customers may get stuck with the rest of the bill.  Under the settlement  — which still must…

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N.C. Policy Watch: New research confirms presence of toxic “forever chemicals” in scores of NC water supplies

By Alanna Joyner / July 2, 2020

According to a new study, raw water supplies for at least 150 public utilities in North Carolina contained some level of toxic fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS or “forever chemicals”, because they never break down in the environment. This comes after researchers from N.C. State University finding GenX chemicals in wells and water from 70 …

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Trump and his EPA dismantle environmental protections under cover of COVID-19 crisis

By Alanna Joyner / June 24, 2020

Last week, the federal government overruled North Carolina’s objection to seismic testing off the coast, saying the activity proposed by the company, WesternGeco, is in the national interest. Trump’s offshore drilling plan will allow the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management to issue permits for seismic testing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, from Maryland…

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WRAL: EPA won’t further limit air pollution despite coronavirus concerns

By Alanna Joyner / May 4, 2020

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will not enforce regulations that would limit the amount of small particles in our air. This comes after a new study released by Harvard found that people with COVID-19 who live in regions with high levels of air pollution across the country, are more likely…

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Trump’s “open license to pollute” could prove fatal as exposure to air pollution increases risk of death from COVID-19

By Alanna Joyner / April 16, 2020

Last month, Trump’s administration rolled back several environmental laws and fines during the coronavirus pandemic. According to new guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), companies will be exempt from consequences for polluting the air or water during the outbreak. Companies are not expected to adhere to environmental standards or report pollution during this time…

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Duke Energy still seeks rate hikes even as profits are up

By Alanna Joyner / February 18, 2020

Duke Energy turned a profit of $660 million for the last three months of 2019, up 42% from a year ago. This comes after Duke Energy’s proposed rate hike request to raise over $123 MILLION on the backs of rate-payers to pay for their toxic coal ash clean up.  From WFAE: Duke CEO Lynn Good…

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Staggering levels of forever chemicals found in Cape River Basin

By Alanna Joyner / February 6, 2020

A water sample taken from the Sanford sewage treatment plant that discharges into the Deep River, revealed a shocking concentration of forever chemicals.  Documents released from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality uncovered high levels of potentially carcinogenic chemicals in rivers and streams throughout the Cape Fear River basin in North Carolina — from Reidsville to Wilmington.…

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NC Policy Watch: A federal appeals court judge’s remarkable speech is the latest surprise in NC’s hog nuisance lawsuits

By Alanna Joyner / February 5, 2020

Last Friday, attorneys for a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, went before the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked three judges to overturn a $3.25 million jury award in a lawsuit filed by neighbors of a large North Carolina hog farm. The attorneys were met with surprise as a…

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Emotions run high at a public hearing over Duke Energy rate hike request

By Eleanore Wood / February 3, 2020

Last Friday marked the first of several public hearings in Alamance County over the potential Duke Energy rate hike request. Numerous residents spoke out against the rate increase — emphasizing the financial hardships that Duke Energy’s rate increase would cause. If the rate hike request is allowed, ratepayers’ bills would go up by 6.8 percent…

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