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Environmentalists win round in egg farm pollution case

Environmentalists have won a round in an ongoing dispute between a massive egg farm neighboring a national wildlife refuge in northeastern North Carolina.

A Hyde County superior court judge ruled Friday that the state has the authority to regulate airborne emissions under federal clean-water law – even though Republican lawmakers tried to protect the egg company from that regulation through legislation passed last year.

Judge Wayland J. Sermons Jr. said an administrative law judge must hold a hearing on whether the airborne emissions from a ventilation system at Rose Acre Farms polluted nearby waterways.

The judge also ruled that there were significantly higher levels of fecal coliform, ammonia nitrogen, inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus recorded in those streams since the egg farm opened.

Lawyers: Require more for cement plant proposal

Lawyers for environmental groups have asked the head of the state's environmental office to require more information from the company planning to build a cement plant in New Hanover County.

In a letter to Dee Freeman, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, lawyers from the Duke University environmental law clinic and the Southern Environmental Law Center asked the department require more from Titan America, Lynn Bonner reports.

The lawyers called for Titan to show how factory emissions will affect plants and soil, to have the company prove it can comply with proposed federal pollution limits and get from Titan detailed plans for the plant, including information on where it plans to mine limestone,

The lawyers also want Freeman to ask the state Environmental Management Commission for an order prohibiting new sources of mercury pollution to the Northeast Cape Fear until the already polluted river is clean.

Clean water groups are suing to get a comprehensive environmental analysis before the state issues air permits.


Besse's 'track' record

Dan BesseDan Besse is running for lieutenant governor — figuratively and literally.

In an online campaign ad, the Winston-Salem city councilman is shown running through his neighborhood to the sounds of rhythmic clapping.

Text flashes over him, boasting of his track record in his two terms in office, his 12 years on the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, his ieight years on the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission and other positions.

At the same time, it also boasts of his track record, um, on the track: 21 marathons, 52 ultramarathons, a 4:55 minute mile and a 38-minute 10K.

Hat Tip: Trail Mix 

Besse interrupts Dalton-Dellinger spat

Dan BesseDan Besse wants in on the spat in the lieutenant governor's race.

The Winston-Salem City councilman e-mailed his positions on abortion, affirmative action, capital punishment and the environment to reporters today.

He noted that two of his opponents—unnamed, but they are state Sen. Walter Dalton and Hampton Dellinger—have "engaged in a rhetorical battle over their positions." He says this makes it a good time to present his opinions.

"I emphasize experience not just because of how valuable it is to an elected official in translating stated positions into effective action," he writes. "I believe that candidates' records tell you what they genuinely believe in, far more than what they say during the heat of a campaign."

To summarize, Besse says he has worked as a consultant to Planned Parenthood, established minority business goals for city contractors, called for a moratorium on executions and served on the N.C. Environmental Management Commission.

All that jazz

Hampton Dellinger, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, had a jazzy fundraiser over the weekend featuring saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

The event drew 145 people at Hopper's Piano Showroom in Raleigh. Among those who spoke at the event was Raleigh attorney Wade Smith, a former state Democratic Party chairman, Rob Christensen reports.

Others attending included Durham Mayor Bill Bell, Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller, and state Reps. Larry Hall, Ty Harrell and Deborah Ross. The event ended a a kick off fundraising swing for Dellinger, a Raleigh attorney and former legal counsel to Gov. Mike Easley.

One of Dellinger's competitors, Winston-Salem City Councilman Dan Besse, had a meet-the candidate event in Chapel Hill on Sunday. The event was hosted by Dave Moreau, chairman of the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, and his wife Polly; Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton; and John Runkle, an environmental attorney.

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