The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources released a new report Friday detailing the state’s environmental quality and upcoming challenges.
WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that the State of the Environment covers everything from land conservation to water and air pollution.
The report shows that after a decade of growth, land conservation across the state has been declining since 2009. State officials say the department is working to acquire key parcels for water quality protection, wildlife habitats, recreation, agriculture and military activities.
The report also finds that 40 percent of state waters are impaired by pollutants like mercury and bacteria, along with excess nutrients such as phosphorus.
In the near future, the department will be completing a study mandated by state lawmakers on oil and gas exploration. That study will focus on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for extracting shale gas.
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