NCGA

GenX concentration in Wilmington's water a lot worse than previously reported

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Sometimes breakthroughs in technology are depressing as hell:

According to a new analysis of preserved samples from 2014 to 2016, PFAS that contain an ether molecule were found at concentrations of at least as high as 130,000 parts per trillion near Lock and Dam No. 1, near the drinking water intake for the City of Wilmington. The contamination originated at the Chemours/DuPont facility more than 80 miles upstream.

The samples at Lock and Dam No. 1 were taken in 2015 by NC State and EPA researchers. But only now, with advanced technology, can scientists more accurately measure the concentrations of PFAS in water.

Don't be fooled by the short time range of the samples; those levels have likely been that high for decades:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Today is the big day for some municipalities:

If you haven't already voted, make sure you do so today. If you live in a municipality that is having its election in November (like me), early voting is just around the corner.

Remembering the victims of the NC GOP's refusal to expand Medicaid

Not just an academic exercise, people are dying:

North Carolina’s Medicaid coverage gap looks like Brenda Pernell, who went by “Miss Brenda” to her students and, until a heart condition killed her in April at the age of 52, treated her high blood pressure with vinegar.

It looks like Jessica Jordan, who inherited her father’s blue eyes and her mother’s fiery hair and who, lacking the coverage to pay for mental health and substance abuse treatment, died from an accidental overdose last May at the age of 32.

If these women had lived in Virginia (or even West Virginia), they would likely still be alive. If they had lived in Louisiana or Arkansas, they would have had a much better chance. Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, still alive. But they didn't. They had the misfortune of living in a state that placed partisan politics above the value of their lives, health, and prosperity. And there are thousands more right behind them, facing deteriorating physical and economic health:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Go get 'em, Avner

Duke professor to address EPA over coal ash deregulation:

Nearly six years after a busted drainage pipe at a Duke Energy coal ash containment pond turned the Dan River into an oily sludge, the Trump administration is considering a move to roll back some of the Obama-era rules that ban the disposal of coal ash in soil or pits and landfills that aren't lined to protect the environment.

At his Duke University lab, ABC11 caught up with the geochemistry professor headed to the EPA hearing about the issue scheduled for Wednesday morning. Avner Vengosh told ABC11 he's going in hopes of convincing the agency to keep the protections in place. "My coming to EPA is to bring the science," said Vengosh. "Demonstrating that putting coal ash without restrictions is a really bad idea."

Professor Vengosh and his graduate students at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment have done groundbreaking work on contaminants that threaten water quality. They're the ones who (finally) proved the Methane contamination of drinking water wells actually originated from the shale being fracked miles below, by looking at the isotopic signature. So we should all be inclined to pay attention to them on this as well:

Drought or Deluge: Climate Change abhors moderation

Over half of NC's counties are drying up as I type:

Klaus Albertin is chairman of the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council . He said in a news release issued by the Department of Environmental Quality on Thursday that water supplies, agriculture, fire threat and streamflows statewide are beginning to reflect the lack of precipitation.

Forty-five counties in the western and central parts of the state are in moderate drought stage, the least detrimental of four categories used in federal drought maps. Twenty-two counties are experiencing abnormally dry conditions, which means a drought could emerge without adequate rainfall. Albertin says while Hurricane Dorian left heavy rainfall along the coast, almost none fell west of Interstate 95. He says conditions could worsen before they improve.

As I was trying to go to sleep last night, I tried to remember the last time it had rained where I live. It's been long enough that I couldn't remember not just the exact date, but how many weeks it's been. That is not good. For several reasons, but the fact we're still in the hurricane season window is a big one. When the ground gets baked dry, rainfall doesn't infiltrate the soil very well, or quickly enough. So it runs off, and flash flooding is much more likely. And as our Western counties continue to dry out, wildfires can be expected. Plainly put, we need some rain, folks. Start dancing.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Technology in the hands of an unscrupulous man quickly becomes dangerous:

Every map in which he was involved needs to be taken to court, pronto.

Monday Numbers: Some sobering truths for Climate Week

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Lisa Sorg at NC Policy Watch breaks it down:

1 — US rank in cumulative CO2 emissions, 1850-2013

2 — US rank among all nations in CO2 emissions, 2017

30% — Estimated decrease in CO2 emissions in 2030 over 2005 levels if the Obama-era Clean Power Plan were to remain in effect

9% — Estimated decrease with the Trump administration’s rollback of the CPP

Which sort of explains why the Trump administration is not even taking part in this year's Climate Summit at the U.N., because they don't have any good answers for the inevitable questions that would be brought up. Trump is single-handedly trying to burn the entire planet down, probably so he can buy up the scorched land with a song and build golf courses and hotels. Lisa says it better:

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