Environment

This local restaurant hasn’t emptied a single trash bin in seven months

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WILMINGTON — Since (re)opening in March, Sealevel City Vegan Diner employees have painstakingly diverted every possible ounce of waste away from two small trash cans to be recycled or composted. The efforts have left the all-natural diner with just one trash bin out back that’s finally nearly full — after collecting seven months of waste. […]

Rain gardens at UNCW reduce millions of gallons of runoff otherwise destined for Bradley Creek

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WILMINGTON — Another rain garden project recently wrapped at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. This one is expected to capture about 1 million gallons of polluted runoff each year that otherwise would have dumped into the already threatened Bradley Creek. The North Carolina Coastal Federation, UNCW staff and students, and the City of […]
Methyl bromide is used to kill insects and pests present in logs before being exported to foreign markets. (Port City Daily/File photo)

State introduces new emissions rule for neurotoxin methyl bromide

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SOUTHEASTERN NC—After two years of studying new regulations over the release of the neurotoxin methyl bromide, the Department of Environmental Quality has introduced new emissions limits. Used to fumigate logs to meet foreign export requirements, methyl bromide was barely regulated previously. The only prior emissions limit subjected permitted operations to cap releases at 10 tons […]
In 2017, New Hanover County reclassified 11 heavy industrial uses as light industry, placing them in a zoning district with looser regulations. Those industries included cement plants, like that now-abandoned Titan plant. (Port City Daily photo / Benjamin Schachtman)

Warning of the next Chemours, environmental groups rally for industrial code update three years after rule change

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A host of environmental and civic groups is asking the county to revisit its industrial use rules, which currently lack the requirement that applicants hold community information meetings before earning approval to carry out their light manufacturing plans. There’s a loaded history behind the request. Between 2015-2017, more than a dozen […]

Army Corps looks to cut costs, eliminate restricted dredging timeline at Wilmington port

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WILMINGTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking the state’s permission to eliminate the regulatory window that limits when it can dredge near the Port of Wilmington. If approved, the state could allow the Army Corps to oversee hopper dredge and bed-leveling activities year-round at both the Port of Wilmington and Morehead City. […]
The Northeast Wastewater Treatment Plant, which discharges treated wastewater into the Cape Fear River visible from the I-140 Bypass, is consistently operating critically near its state-permitted capacity. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Ferebee)

Lower Cape Fear River may finally ditch ‘swamp’ classification

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SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Though the change never truly went into effect, the lower Cape Fear River’s contested classification as “swamp waters” could soon get dropped. Technically, the classification is still on the books and must go through one final step before it’s officially removed. The switch from protected tidal salt waters (Class SC) to swamp […]