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                                            NCGS staff were able to use drone technology to identify the surface expression of fault movement, the dark line in the grass, from the August 9 earthquake in Sparta, NC.   North Carolina Geological Survey (NCGS) staff members visited the site of the August 9 5.1 magnitude earthquake that hit about 2 miles from Sparta, North Carolina. The purpose of the visit was to document the damage, collect data about the movement at the fault, and add information for inclusion in the NCGS database for the future preparation of landslide hazard maps.  

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Atrium Health, a key provider of healthcare and wellness programs throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, is making strides on energy reduction and energy management. Atrium Health earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award two years in a row for 2018 and 2019. Between 2017 and 2018, Atrium Health earned ENERGY STAR certification on 10 facilities, including two of its largest acute care hospitals. Two additional facilities are currently pursuing certification.

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The Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with North Carolina’s leading climate science experts to support the development of the State Climate Science Assessment.  DEQ is leading the effort to produce the climate risk assessment and resiliency plan, as directed by Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 80, to help the state cabinet agencies evaluate the potential impacts of climate change.

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Aaron Sebens and his fourth grade class at Central Park School for Children in Durham, took their lessons on energy and the environment to the next level, by launching a crowd-funding campaign to add solar electricity to his classroom. “It went viral and we ended up raising enough money to take our classroom completely off the grid,” Sebens said. “The U.S. Department of Energy made a video about the project  and then-President Barack Obama tweeted about it.”

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Pocosins are naturally-occurring freshwater evergreen shrub wetlands of the southeastern coastal plains with deep, acidic, sandy, peat soils. Pocosins are formed by the accumulation of organic matter, resembling black muck, that is built up over thousands of years in the unique conditions that exist on these wetlands. Several inches to several feet of organic matter can be built up under the correct conditions, making these lands a carbon sink for North Carolina. While pocosins are referred to as wetlands, they are not completely covered in water and support a large mix of wildlife.

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The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, revising the guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. After careful review, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) has requested the EPA abandon the proposed rule-making, and replace it with a rule that achieves meaningful emission reductions.  In comments submitted to the EPA this week, DEQ outlines key concerns with this proposal.

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Spotlight on Bank of America In 2006, Bank of America launched its Low-Carbon Vehicle Program to provide assistance to employees when purchasing or leasing new highway-capable electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The goal of the program is to make it easy and affordable for employees to choose environmentally friendly transportation and to support the clean transportation business sector.  More than 9,600 employees have purchased low-carbon vehicles under the Bank of America program.  

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Experts Consider the Future and Security of our Coastal Regions As North Carolina deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and the impacts of storm-related flooding, several state and national organizations are considering the long-term outlook for the coastal region through the lens of military readiness.

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Cities and towns play an important role in reducing carbon emissions. On Tuesday, several sustainability officers from North Carolina cities and towns will meet to discuss climate change and their current efforts.  From EV charging stations and LED lighting to LEED-certified buildings and emission reduction goals, the mayors will exchange ideas and share their success stories. 

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