Residents speak with state environmentalists about coal ash

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality held a public information session Tuesday evening regarding Duke Energy’s Allen Steam Station.
The meeting was at Stuart Cramer High School in Belmont at 6 p.m. [ALSO READ: Families near Allen Steam Station mark 1,000 days living off bottled water] This was the first of several opportunities for the community to discuss what they value in a closure plan and coal ash impoundment for the Allen Steam Station.
She and many of her neighbors spent years drinking bottled water.
They also fought to get a water line but only if they agreed not to sue Duke Energy.
[ALSO READ: Neighbors worry construction near Duke Energy power plant could disturb buried coal ash] Duke Energy has presented options for the state to consider at the Allen Steam plant and the Marshal plant: Covering the coal ash ponds would cost Duke $185 million Moving some ash and covering it all: $280 million Moving it to a landfill on site: $558 million Moving it to an offsite landfill: $1.2 billion Duke Energy wants to cover it, but Brown wants it all hauled away.
"They are unlined, and they are sitting next to our rivers and lakes," Brown said.
"Coal ash is poisonous forever,” Catawba River Keeper Brandon Jones said.
“These are elements (that) don’t breakdown."
"We have decades worth of surface testing on Lake Wylie that shows the lake is safe," Duke Energy spokesman Bill Norton said.
Duke Energy said it will remove coal ash closest to residents.

Local youths to participate in inaugural robotics challenge

| Hakim Hayat | A GROUP of local secondary school students hopes to ignite the passion of more young Bruneians in science and technology leadership and innovation through their participation in the inaugural robotics challenge for high school students worldwide organised by First Global in Washington DC, United States next week.
First Global also strives to convince the various national governments and organisations of the world to embrace STEM education, and to support it by investing in their young adults that will soon begin to make their marks in the world.
She hopes that by assembling and mentoring the young Bruneian robotics team to participate in the competition, it will pave way for more awareness on robotics sciences among young Bruneian students and ignite more interest among them, as she feels that its development in the country is often not well known of.
“We want this to be a start to cultivate more awareness on robotics among Bruneian students, to inculcate the mindset earlier among them and from their participation, we want to keep this going by conducting sharing sessions with other schools and we want this to be an annual participation from Brunei,” she said.
These alliances are tasked with accomplishing engineering tasks such as the storing of drinkable water, filtering of contaminated water, and procuring of new sources water.
In a laboratory up stream, the villagers come together to research the contaminants and ultimately create a purification system so contaminants are removed before they reach the villages, thus providing clean water for all.
“It didn’t come without any challenge but it was pretty smooth overall and right now we are just finalising the product and hopefully we will finish it by this week,” she said.
Another team member, Syasya Jamain, 15, from Jerudong International School said the journey benefited all of them because they weren’t all too familiar with the world of robotics at first.
“Through this we learnt the importance of it and how it really benefits a lot of people and how we can help contribute to society,” she said.
They also mentioned that interest about robotics in their school is very limited and people rarely talk about it but hopes that with their participation they hope to widen the understanding and make people know the importance of this technology and how it exists and will continue to grow for the future.

High School Students Protect Schuylkill River

High School Students Protect Schuylkill River.
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — High school students were recognized today for their work protecting the Schuylkill River.
The Schuylkill River supplies water to two million people in pennsylvania.
Students at Schuylkill Haven High School were awarded for their efforts to keep the river clean.
150 members of the high school’s biology club gathered to recieve their award from the Schuylkill Action Network.
Students were honored for planting trees, picking up litter, and for learning about water pollution from abandoned mines.
"Up in Schuylkill County we’re in the headwaters or the beginning of the watershed so whatever happens up here affects those downstream," explained Virginia Vassalotti, Schuylkill Action Coordinator.
"We tested the water quality here in Schuylkill Haven and other places along the schuylill river to determine the quality of the water," said Corbin Ney, sophomore.
The Schuylkill River is also the largest influence on the Delaware River Watershed, which provides water to more than 15 million people.

North Division High School students protest school’s water cleanliness

North Division High School students protest school’s water cleanliness.
A group of students held a rally at 4 p.m. at the school saying they’re concerned over the presence of lead in their drinking water.
Students part of the group "Youth Rising Up" organized the rally, saying they’re afraid to drink the water at their school.
According to its website, when MPS voluntarily tested the water at North Division, it found 15 drinking fountains and 92 faucets where lead levels exceeded EPA standards (15 parts per billion).
The district is in the process of replacing fixtures at North Division and at all schools where standards exceeded those guidelines.
A spokesperson for the district said two water fountains at North Division still need to be repaired.
"No longer will we sit back and just accept, yes this happened, no this didn’t happen.
The students were also upset over the installation of a filtered water fountain on the third floor of the building, where MPS says the district conducts staff training.
MPS said it found there weren’t a lot of water fountains on the third floor and staff who came to the building for training were waiting in line to fill up water bottles.
Be sure and watch TODAY’S TMJ4 on Roku!

LPGE students look to eliminate disposable plastic water bottles

LPGE students look to eliminate disposable plastic water bottles.
1 / 2 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Secondary School students have committed to eliminating disposable water bottles through a "Ban the Bottle" initiative.
Phillips said last year’s area studies students launched a green Initiative with a commitment to do something environmentally friendly for the school, its students, and the community on an annual basis.
The area studies class spent time studying global water resources, plastics, the economics of bottled water, and pollution.
On March 31, all students and staff at LPGE Secondary School attended a symposium led by those involved in the Area Studies Green Initiative.
The students’ presentation emphasized the importance of drinking water and the environmental impact and health risks associated with plastic bottled water.
Students were also given a "Ban the Bottle" bracelet to remind them to use their water bottles wherever they go in lieu of the disposable plastic counterpart.
Students in the Area Studies Green Initiative applied for funding through NJPA’s Small Project Partnership.
"Every dollar raised was from the community, including from NJPA, who is a partner with our school," Phillips said.
"The Small Project Partnership from NJPA really made this happen, because we were finding out it was going to be too much money per sponsor, and they matched everything we did."

High school students teach second graders about life on the farm

High school students teach second graders about life on the farm.
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A group of high school and second grade students learned about life on the farm Wednesday afternoon.
Members of Seaman High School’s Future Farmers of America and USD second graders spent the day at the North Topeka Saddle Club for their third annual "Day on the Farm."
The younger students learned about livestock, poultry, bee pollination, water pollution and even what plants to eat and how to plant them.
One FFA adviser said having the high school students as the teachers makes learning more fun.
"The actual high schoolers get to do most of the presenting throughout the day, so it’s really nice for the second graders to not just hear from the teachers all day everyday, and actually hear from kids who were once their age, who have ties a lot closer to them," said Megan Van Gordon, and FFA Adviser at Seaman.
"It’s really nice for my kids to get the presentation experience, and for the second graders to hear from someone a little closer in age than all the teachers are."
The Jefferson County Humane Society was also there to help out with the day.

WINNESEC students contest in STEM challenge

The old students are Prof. John B.K.
The students—Belinda Dogbe, Elizabeth Fosu, Roberta Quansah, Stephanie Obbo, Jezreel Abbey Sam, Gideon Nyarkoh, Derrick Quansah and David Yaw Edu Arthur— qualified to participate in the international event in the USA after their “Indigenous Water Purifier” project was picked as one of the top three among senior high schools (SHS).
A teacher of Chemistry and Integrated Science at WINNESEC, Mr Cosmos Eminah, who led the students to the US, told the media on arrival in Accra that the journey to the US began last year when IREX organised the World Smarts STEM Challenge programme for senior high school students.
“IREX wanted to shore up the interest of Ghanian and international students in Science.
Of the many SHSs that applied for the programme in Accra, 17 were shortlisted, after which a competition was held to select the best for the US programme.
According to Mr Eminah, the Indigenous Water Purifier was used to treat polluted water from the Gyangyanadze community in Winneba.
The treated water was later taken to the Winneba Water Works where it was found to be 100 per cent contamination-free,” he noted.
He said the school collaborated with the McKinley Technology High School in the US to present the project at the challenge.
Dr Ampofo said old students of the school were proud of the current generation of students and encouraged them to continue to work hard.
“We want you to know that we care a lot about you and cherish what you do,” he said.