Environmentally Speaking

“Extragalactic Exploration: Galaxies and the Universe” will kick off the next Lunchtime Discovery Series next week. Dr. Patrick Treuthardt, assistant director of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, will be the first featured speaker on Wednesday, May 25th at noon.

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The federal Environmental Protection Agency today released a health advisory for two perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) called PFOS and PFOA that are not regulated by the federal government. The newly announced health advisory level for these two combined chemicals is 70 parts per trillion for drinking water.  Prior to EPA’s announcement, the McCrory administration began working with water systems that would exceed the new levels to ensure that the drinking water they provide is safe.

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In case you missed it, read our Assistant Secretary Tom Reeder's letter to the editor in the Durham Herald-Sun: DEQ’s science-based decision-making Our primary mission at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is to protect North Carolina’s environment. In carrying out this mission, DEQ’s technical staff use the most recent science to draft reports and make recommendations on environmental policy.

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Family, friends and co-workers cheered as the state sank two ships Saturday in memory of former Artificial Reef Coordinator Jim Francesconi. The Tramp, a 67-foot long tugboat, went down first on AR-330, the Howard Chapin Reef. The James J. Francesconi, a 107-foot long former U.S. Army LT tugboat, sank at 1:40 p.m. Jim Francesconi headed the state’s Artificial Reef Program for 14 years before losing a battle with leukemia on July 18, 2014 at the age of 54. His efforts for the division resulted in hundreds of enhancements to artificial reefs from the Outer Banks to Long Bay.

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Governor Pat McCrory has become a national leader in fighting the Obama administration’s federal overreach, most recently stopping the federal takeover of the state’s electricity system and millions of acres of private property. Secretary Donald van der Vaart explains in the North State Journal why decisions about how to protect the environment should be made in North Carolina, not Washington, DC: http://www.nsjonline.com/article/2016/05/mccrory-fights-to-keep-electric...

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The Alamance County town of Ossipee will gain an additional 100,000 gallons of water capacity now that a five-mile section of waterline connecting the town with the city of Burlington’s water system has been completed. This is thanks to the McCrory administration’s water infrastructure program, which funded the $2.4 million project. The completion of the project ends the town’ water availability and reliability challenges related to drought conditions. It will also allow Ossipee to disconnect from a well system, with the added advantage of increased water capacity for fire protection.

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It’s impressive what we could accomplish if everyone decided to compost our uneaten food scraps and our dead leaves, twigs and branches instead of throwing them away. Consider this: between 20 percent and 30 percent of the waste that winds up in the landfill are food scraps and yard waste. So just what happens when we compost food scraps and yard waste? Just ask North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who proclaimed May 1-7 as Composting Awareness Week in the Tar Heel State. (See the governor’s proclamation here).

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North Carolina environmental regulators are reversing the previous administration’s decision to bring poultry operations under federal regulation.  The state environmental department will protect the agriculture industry from federal overreach by requiring poultry operations to be permitted by the state rather than by federal requirements. The McCrory administration consistently fights against the federal government’s intrusion into state affairs.

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