Environmentally Speaking

Secretary van der Vaart took a tour of Selee Corporation’s headquarters in Hendersonville, NC last week. The ceramic filter manufacturer recently worked with DEQ’s Waste Reduction Partners to learn how to become proactive environmental stewards while also cutting their costs. Read about the visit in the Hendersonville Times-News: http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20160707/NEWS/160709873

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Secretary van der Vaart recently visited the city of Shelby’s First Broad River Water Waste Treatment Facility to see the improvements that are being made after the city received a $10 million loan from the state. Read in the Shelby Star how the wastewater plant is being upgraded and how the state is working to ensure clean water in North Carolina: http://www.shelbystar.com/news/20160707/ncdeq-pleased-with-updates-to-first-broad-facility

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DEQ staff recently visited NC A&T University to hear how researchers have discovered methods of recycling coal ash to produce building materials. Read the details here in the Greensboro News & Record: http://www.greensboro.com/news/dan_river/scientists-at-nc-a-t-make-coal-ash-breakthrough/article_7a4ceadc-2c48-57e2-939e-da68234fe1cb.html

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A Burke County man now holds the North Carolina state record for skipjack tuna. Timothy Ray Street of Valdese hooked the 32-pound, 8-ounce-fish May 24 at the Rock Pile, a series of rock ledges in the Gulf Stream, about 23 miles out of Hatteras Inlet. The fish measured 37 inches fork length (tip of the nose to the fork in the tail) and had a girth of 25 inches. Street caught it using ballyhoo for bait on 80-pound test line. Timothy Ray Street of Valdese shows off his new state record skipjack tuna catch.

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As part of Governor Pat McCrory’s initiative to protect low-income and minority communities from the effects of coal ash, the state environmental agency has evaluated the potential impact of storing ash in a new lined landfill in Wilmington. An initial review found that storing ash in a new landfill near the Sutton Steam Station would have no disproportionate impact on low-income, minority, and other residential communities within a mile of the proposed site.

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DEQ Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart visited Gastonia this week to get a first-hand look at how a $35 million, zero-percent interest loan is helping the city modernize its water treatment plant. Matt Bernhardt, the Director of Public Works and Utilities in Gastonia, led the tour and described how the plant is being upgraded to meet the needs of a growing population. When the project is complete, the plant will have a capacity of 27 million gallons of water per day with plans to expand to 30 million gallons, providing safe drinking water to a service area population of over 100,000.

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In a recent letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Governor Pat McCrory expressed disappointment in the decision to forgo offshore energy exploration in the Mid-Atlantic. Governor McCrory, who serves as chair of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, also urged the federal government to approve applications for seismic surveying that can pinpoint potential offshore energy resources and help states make informed decisions about energy exploration in the future. To read the full letter click here: https://ncdenr.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/DENR/documents/Offshore%20en...  

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