Environmentally Speaking

Last month, staff from the Division of Mitigation Services participated in the National Mitigation Banking Conference in Minneapolis where topics of conversation included North Carolina’s in-lieu fee program and utilizing technology for environmental monitoring. Those topics and the work of the division are critical to the protection of North Carolina’s environment. North Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the country and when streams and wetlands are impacted during the course of development, compensatory mitigation is a means of offsetting the impact.

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Last month, Governor Cooper visited Navassa, a community with a long history of industrial pollution, to announce the redevelopment of a former boat factory site into a manufacturing operation that will bring an economic boost to the area with no environmental risk. Pacon Manufacturing Corp., a New Jersey-based company that manufactures pads, wipes, towels and liquids for consumer, industrial and medical use, expects to bring nearly 300 new jobs and more than $37 million in economic investment to Brunswick County.

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April 29th through May 3rd is Air Quality Awareness Week and here in North Carolina, it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the spring weather and our state’s many incredible natural resources.  It’s also a great time to think about our air quality and the actions we can take to keep our air clean.  

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Last week, Division of Mitigation Services Director Tim Baumgartner participated in a panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. where he discussed North Carolina’s nationally renowned in-lieu fee program’s procurement system for stream and wetlands restoration. The conference was hosted by the Environmental Restoration Business Association, and in the hallways of the press club and at a reception on Capitol Hill, North Carolina was a hot topic of discussion.

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DEQ Secretary Regan was at Fort Caswell on Wednesday to congratulate Tara Whicker for completing the department’s Environmental Education Certification Program and to learn more about Caswell’s educational programming. Whicker is the coastal education assistant coordinator with the Environmental Stewardship Program at Fort Caswell. She helps facilitate field trips and teach K-12 students about coastal ecology and marine biology in a non-formal, outdoor setting.

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“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  

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Elizabeth Werner, a hydrogeologist in the Solid Waste Section, has been selected as the 2018 Division of Waste Management’s Employee of the Year for her unparalleled dedication to public service, exemplary scientific experience and knows-no-bounds enthusiasm for serving the state of North Carolina. “She embodies everything that the Department of Environmental Quality stands for,” stated her nominator.

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