State approves partial rate hike for Duke Energy

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has issued an order granting a partial rate increase for Duke Energy Progress.

SCC lead cleanup cost reaches $500,000

Jackson County will spend an additional $254,000 to clean up lead contamination and plan for sound abatement at the Southwestern Community College shooting range following a unanimous vote from county commissioners Feb. 19. 

Keeping the river clean: Adopt-a-Stream volunteers keep litter out of Haywood’s waterways

It’s a sunny, abnormally warm October afternoon, and Tom Anspach is ready to meet it with a canoe on the Pigeon River.

But Anspach, accompanied by 19-year-old Josh Arford, isn’t there to paddle for miles or fish for trout. He’s there to fish for trash.

Sylva sets sights on revitalized Scotts Creek

fr scottscreekRunning through the hearts of Dillsboro and Sylva on its tumble down from Balsam, Scotts Creek has star potential. It could be a centerpiece of both downtowns — a magnet for anglers, kayakers and kids looking for a place to splash around.

Mercury testing expands at Lake Glenville

fr glenvilleAfter testing last year found Lake Glenville’s walleye fish to have some of the highest mercury concentrations in North Carolina, state officials returned to Jackson County to look at mercury levels in other fish species.

Oil cleanup in Cherokee to be a long process

fr oiltankA riverside petroleum leak in Cherokee has had cleanup crews scrambling since contamination was first discovered in April — and feeling flummoxed the further they’ve probed into the leak’s potential cause.

No time to relax: Smokies air quality has improved, but a new ozone standard is on its way

out frBreathing easy in the Smokies is a better bet than it’s been in decades. Ozone pollution is down 36 percent, and particle pollution has been cut in half. The mountain view on the haziest days now extends nearly four times as far as it did in 1998. Streams harmed by acid rain are starting to recover. 

All stats that are cause for celebration, said a group of air quality leaders gathered on Purchase Knob in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last week.

Evergreen undergoes costly clean up of coal stacks under new air pollution rules

fr millThe smokestacks at Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton will be significantly cleaner within four years thanks to $50 million in pollution upgrades.

EPA looks to end 30 years of contamination at old Benfield site

fr riverbendIt’s been 32 years since Benfield Industries in Hazelwood burned to the ground, 25 since the Environmental Protection Agency designated it as a Superfund site and 13 since cleanup on the site finished. 

But the work’s not done, according to the most recent EPA monitoring. The agency is hoping that its latest remediation plan for the former chemical distribution company site will take care of creosote contamination in Hazelwood once and for all. 

Glenville latest lake confirmed for walleye mercury contamination

fr glenvilleA new health advisory was issued this month warning people about mercury levels in walleye fish in Lake Glenville. This is not exactly news.

“As an obligate piscivore — that is, fish that feed almost exclusively on smaller fish — this species is very prone to mercury bioaccumulation,” explained Susan Massengale, public information officer with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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