State Government News

DEQ Approves Closure Plans for Six Coal Ash Sites

August 18, 2020

RALEIGH – After a thorough review and public participation process, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has approved the closure plans detailing the excavation of coal ash impoundments at the following Duke facilities: Belews Creek Steam Station, Roxboro Steam Electric Plant, Buck Combined Cycle Station, Cape Fear Power Station, H.F. Lee Energy Complex and Weatherspoon Power Plant. For each facility, DEQ has determined that the closure plan meets the requirements of the Coal Ash Management Act (CAMA) and is protective of public health and the environment. Under the consent order signed in February of 2020, Duke Energy is…

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Rescheduled: September 10 Public Hearing on Carolina Sunrock Draft Air Permits

August 18, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will hold the rescheduled public hearing on the draft permits for two proposed Carolina Sunrock LLC facilities on September 10, 2020 at 6 p.m.  Members of the public will be able to participate in the hearing by phone or online and comments will be accepted until September 14, 2020 at 5 p.m. If you wish to speak at the public hearing, you must register by 4:00 p.m. on September 10. To register, please visit: https://bit.ly/3gal8iB or call (919) 618-0968. Those who registered prior to August 3 remain…

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Marine Fisheries Commission to meet by webinar Aug. 20-21

August 18, 2020

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet by webinar Aug. 20-21, beginning at 9 a.m. each day. The public may listen to the meeting by phone or listen and view presentations in real-time by joining online. Directions for calling in by phone or joining the webinar online, including information on system requirements and testing, is available here. Following the meeting, an audio recording will be posted online. Members of the public may submit written comments to the commission in two ways: Online Comments – Public comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Aug. 18 through an online…

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NCDHHS Expanding Mental Health Supports for Teachers, School Personnel and Their Families

August 18, 2020

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is expanding the Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) to serve North Carolina’s teachers, school personnel and their families.  With schools opening in-person and remotely across the state under new health and safety procedures, NCDHHS and the NC Psychological Foundation can provide these personnel with mental health and resilience supports through Hope4Healers. Hope4Healers is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. When teachers, school personnel or family members call the helpline, they will speak to someone who is trained to listen and offer support. They then will be contacted within…

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Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey sets up Disaster Readiness Centers for Wilmington

August 18, 2020

RALEIGH — North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has set up the first in a series of Disaster Readiness Centers with the goal of making sure North Carolinians are ready for storms and other natural disasters. Commissioner Causey will be in Wilmington on Tuesday, Aug. 18, to support Department of Insurance staff members and to talk with consumers about their insurance needs. “Recent history has shown us that all kinds of natural disasters can strike North Carolina, some without warning,” Commissioner Causey said. “We’ve had hurricanes, tornados, ice and snowstorms, mudslides and earthquakes. Proper planning will put homeowners and other…

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UNC COVID outbreaks underscore desire of parents, students for financial relief if schools close

August 18, 2020

UPDATE, Monday, 4:06 p.m. UNC Chapel Hill officials announced the university would move to full online instruction on Wednesday and “reduce residential intensity.” Four COVID-19 outbreaks reported last week at UNC Chapel Hill won’t shut down the flagship university campus. Yet. Officials are dealing with the “clusters” — defined as at least five positive coronavirus cases in one location — at three residence halls and a fraternity house. The university has begun contact tracing of people who may have been around the infected students or staff, along with reinforcing campus-wide social distancing and other hygiene rules. The school’s Faculty Executive…

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Committee weighs using tougher audits to get DOT spending under control

August 17, 2020

by Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Lawmakers are trying to fix the Department of Transportation’s spending problems that triggered mass layoffs, project delays, and chaos in the transportation industry. The department’s overspending exposed failures in oversight, both in the department itself and in the Council of Internal Auditing. The department’s internal oversight is so ineffective that it violates state law, according to a report from the DOT’s Office of Inspector General. The report calls for an overhaul of the department’s Office of Inspector General. On Monday, Aug. 10, the legislature’s program evaluation oversight committee debated a draft…

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Division of Coastal Management to host interactive webinars on new grant funding opportunity

August 17, 2020

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. – The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (DCM) will host two interactive webinars on the new N.C. Resilient Coastal Communities Program. The webinars are free and will be held on Aug. 18, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Aug. 25, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. DCM will also be soliciting feedback from participants on the new NC Resilient Coastal Communities Program. The N.C. Resilient Coastal Communities Program aims to facilitate a community-driven process for setting coastal resilience goals, assessing existing and needed local capacity, and identifying and prioritizing projects to enhance community resilience to coastal hazards. Participating…

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NCDOT’s Weekly Cash Watch Report (8/14/2020)

August 16, 2020

RALEIGH – To be open and transparent and to comply with Session Law 2019-251 of the N.C. General Assembly, the N.C. Department of Transportation will issue a news release each Friday publishing the weekly “NCDOT Cash Watch Numbers” report, which is a snapshot of NCDOT expenditures. Click here to view the report for August 14, 2020. For holidays when NCDOT offices are closed, the release and report will be published on the closest business day. The latest cash report, as well as previous reports, can be viewed on this NCDOT webpage. Each report opens with what the combined cash balance…

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This Week at NCDOT (8/14/2020): Piedmont Passenger Rail Service Resumes, Mobi Awards, Senator Albertson Highway Dedication

August 16, 2020

RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. State’s Piedmont Passenger Rail Service Resumes This week, people traveling between Raleigh and Charlotte have an additional option with the return to service of Piedmont trains 73 and 76. NCDOT had suspended operations of the state-operated passenger rail service due to the impacts of COVID-19. To ensure passenger and crew safety, Amtrak has enhanced cleaning procedures and is requiring all customers in stations, on trains and thruway buses to wear facial coverings. The number of riders per train is also limited to make sure passengers…

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