Environmentally Speaking

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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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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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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Bruce Nicholson has a great story to share about the state Brownfields program he leads. The program has led to the successful cleanup and redevelopment of hundreds of sites and bolstered the economies in many North Carolina communities. Last week, Nicholson shared his program’s story with a group of engineers visiting from China. The engineers are employees of an energy company from Hangzhou who were visiting to learn more about the state’s Brownfields program.

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Earlier this week Secretary Donald van der Vaart visited Winston-Salem to tour Industries for the Blind, a manufacturing company that employs people who are blind or visually impaired. Industries for the Blind recently partnered with DEQ’s Waste Reduction Partners, who studied the company’s environmental impact and provided them with cost-saving strategies and resources to help them become more energy efficient.

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Planning a fishing trip to the North Carolina coast? Check out the new North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Guide. This new 131-page, full-color guide is printed on waterproof paper and provides detailed information about each of the state’s 62 reefs, including diagrams of each site showing all reef material, GPS coordinates, and material deployment dates.

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