Environmentally Speaking

State environmental officials announced that they will be accepting comment on a proposed consent order between the state environmental deparment and Duke Energy that imposes additional requirements and penalties for seeps from Duke Energy’s Riverbend facility located in Gaston County.  The proposed order, along with the facility’s water discharge permit issued earlier this year, will ensure both continued protection of the environment and ultimate closure of the facility. 

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Marine Patrol Officer Gene Maready was honored with a plaque in the shape of North Carolina and a certificate naming him Marine Fisheries Enforcement Officer of the Year at the Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet Saturday. The Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards, presented by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, honor individuals, associations, businesses and others who have exhibited unwavering commitment to conservation in the state.

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DEQ Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart visited the North Carolina Arboretum recently to award Meghan Baker with a certificate for completing her North Carolina Environmental Education Certification. Baker is an extension agent with Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Service and provides educational outreach to small farmers, youth, and community members in Buncombe County through field-based workshops during the growing season and trainings in the winter.

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DEQ employee Elizabeth Werner has been highlighted by the N.C. Office of State Human Resources in their Compassion in Action series. Elizabeth volunteers in several different capacities, but focuses on delivering food to seniors through Meals on Wheels. Check out this video to watch the steps Elizabeth takes to volunteer with this program and why she does it: In case you missed it, read out blog about Elizabeth’s volunteer work, as well as that of DEQ employee Troy Harrison, who volunteers with Honduras Fountain of Life to teach English to young orphaned girls in Honduras. Click here.

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An electronic payment system started early in the McCrory administration saves customers time and money when they pay state environmental fees. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality implemented an electronic payment option in 2013 to make it easier for municipalities, industries and other customers to pay permitting and other required fees.

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Here’s the latest update on Tropical Storm Hermine from Governor McCrory and North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. DEQ is monitoring for environmental hazards and will be sure to keep the public updated. Stay safe and dry out there! https://www.facebook.com/GovOfficeNC/videos/1112249445520563/

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Check out the North State Journal to learn about Secretary van der Vaart’s trip to his alma mater Broughton High School yesterday, where he visited two classrooms to speak to students about science education. He also had the opportunity to surprise Ms. Joanne Blumenfeld, a science teacher, with an award of recognition. Read the whole story below:  Raleigh teacher sets an example for her students By Donna King Photo taken by Madeline Gray for the North State Journal

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While the southeast is ramping up preparations for hurricane season, North Carolina is also preparing for another unlikely but potentially damaging event – a coronal mass ejection (CME).    An extreme CME is a large solar flare of energy that if directed at Earth, could have an impact on many of our daily activities. Potential effects include a powerful geomagnetic disturbance that could cause widespread power outages, loss of cellular networks and loss of satellite connections, among others. Just like with other natural events like hurricanes, it’s important to be prepared.  

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