Republican attack on the environment

Judge cracks the whip on pork producer Murphy Brown

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That simply won't do, pig:

A federal judge is telling a major pork producer to live up to an agreement it signed 11 years ago and work on cleaning up water pollution tied to almost a dozen industry-scale hog operations.

U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Howard this week ordered Murphy-Brown LLC to end a three-year delay and have a mutually agreed consultant develop plans to fix problems at 11 sites in in Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Pitt, Sampson and Scotland counties. Environmentalists say the independent expert found groundwater contamination or waste lagoon problems at the operations.

It's as good a time as any to report on NC's current hog population (9.2 million), which of course produce a hell of a lot more waste than the 10.2 million humans residing here. It's bad, and Murphy Brown is the worst of the worst:

Burrowing mole van der Vaart finally quits his self-appointed job at DEQ

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And complains about behavior he's guilty of himself:

The former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality has resigned from the state agency after being put on paid administrative leave nearly a month ago. Donald van der Vaart, who was first in command under the Republican administration of former Gov. Pat McCrory, sent a letter to his successor as secretary, Michael Regan, on Tuesday saying he would retire after 23 years.

“The state has traditionally found it difficult to recruit young people without the added specter of politicization of science and law,” van der Vaart said in closing his letter. “Sadly, that specter is now clearly visible.”

If you want to see a prime example of science being politicized, here's van der Vaart attacking Roy Cooper and promoting Pat McCrory when it was only rumored that Cooper was thinking of a Gubernatorial bid:

A closer look at Duke Energy's corruption of UNC Charlotte

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Our public universities should never allow this to happen again:

Daniels described the board in a letter to Tom Reeder, then the assistant secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, in a letter on April 5, 2016, arguing against a risk classification system for Duke’s coal ash ponds. “The NAMAB is an independent group of experts chartered through Duke Energy and managed by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte). Board members provide advice to Duke Energy, but they are contracted with and report to UNC Charlotte,” Daniels wrote. That same letter concluded with a final reaffirmation of the board’s independence. “And we are independent,” Daniels wrote.

But emails obtained by WBTV show staff from Duke Energy scheduled meetings, coordinated the distribution of research materials and facilitated the day-to-day operation of the board; a direct contradiction of what Daniels wrote in his April 2016 letter to Reeder.

There's nothing fossil fuel companies like more than penetrating a reputable university and setting up an industry-funded "research" operation. When you can dictate the scope of the research, you can (very often) achieve the results you were hoping for. Or make changes to those results if you're not happy with them:

Harry Brown's anti-wind energy "maps" are still alive

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This is why we can't have nice things:

Brown, whose district includes the largest Marine base on the East Coast, believes the turbines could interfere with military radar or flight routes, and cause Department of Defense officials to close, downsize, or relocate military installations to other states. The solution, he says, is a statewide map that will rule out wind energy in certain places.

“The map says it’s okay here, it’s not okay here,” Brown told Southeast Energy News this summer. “To me that’s the only way we’re ever going to be able to resolve this issue.”

There's nothing to resolve, you idiot. There are already multiple mechanisms in place to safeguard the airspace for both military and civilian aircraft, which means this move by Brown is really about something else. And that something else becomes clearer by his effort to draw in Solar and Biomass energy projects into his crusade:

Sorry Not Sorry: Chemours "accidentally" spills more Genx into Cape Fear

Old (nasty) habits are apparently hard to break:

In a press release Thursday afternoon, officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality said preliminary data revealed a spike in the levels of GenX in untreated water near the chemical company's Fayetteville Works facility in Bladen County. After contacting the company, DEQ spokesman Jamie Kritzer said Chemours officials revealed that workers had spilled dimer acid fluoride during planned maintenance at the plant Oct. 6.

Dimer acid fluoride effectively breaks down in water into the equivalent of GenX, a poorly studied and unregulated contaminant in a family of chemicals linked to cancer and other negative health effects. Kritzer said it's unclear how much of the chemical leaked or how long it spilled into the Cape Fear River.

As our Riverkeepers and their cadre of volunteer water watchers will tell you, such "accidents" happen way too often to not be intentional. Whether it's polluting industries or municipal wastewater treatment plants, there are numerous cases of "Oops!" that occur every year. Because making it somebody else's problem is the easiest way to deal with chemicals and sewage. Until it starts costing you a lot of money, which is what needs to happen.

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