Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg

Lisa Sorg joined N.C. Policy Watch in July 2016. She covers environmental issues, including social justice, pollution, climate change and energy policy. Before joining the project, Lisa was the editor and an investigative reporter for INDY Week, covering the environment, housing and city government. She has been a journalist for 22 years, working at magazines, daily newspapers, digital media outlets and alternative newsweeklies.

Vice President Kamala Harris to NC A&T students: ‘When you vote, it scares some folks.’

By: - September 18, 2023

This is what happens when the vice president of the United States visits Greensboro: Excitable German shepherds, restrained by their military handlers, sniff every duffel, trash can, and bathroom of a terminal at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Poised, yet nervy and as quiet as bats, Secret Service agents in dark suits and sunglasses scan the […]

EPA proposes new rule to crack down on PFAS, forever chemicals in our water

By: and - March 14, 2023

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday announced its proposed maximum contaminant levels — MCLs– for six types of toxic PFAS in drinking water and acknowledged that no amount of these compounds is safe. “EPA anticipates if fully implemented the rule will prevent tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses or deaths,” the agency wrote […]

EPA: Two types of PFAS far more toxic than previously understood

By: - November 18, 2021

The EPA released data Tuesday that suggests two types of PFAS are more toxic than previously understood, which could trigger a drastic reduction in what the agency considers acceptable amounts in drinking water. The data showed that PFOA and PFOS were found to cause health problems at much lower reference doses by thousands of times. The […]

UN climate change report is a ‘reality check’ — and that reality is grim

By: - August 10, 2021

The numerical difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees Celsius is small, but it stands between all that is alive and a potentially cataclysmic capsizing of the natural world. As soon as 2030 — a decade earlier than previously estimated —the Earth’s average temperature is on track to rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial […]

EPA knew fracking fluid can degrade into toxic PFAS, but approved it anyway

By: - July 12, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 knew that chemicals used in fracking fluid can break down and form PFAS — potentially contaminating groundwater and drinking water — but approved them anyway, even though agency scientists acknowledged they could be toxic. The New York Times reported the story Monday, based on documents received by Physicians for Social […]

EPA closes loophole on toxic PFAS

By: - April 29, 2021

Manufacturers of perfluorinated compounds, also known as PFAS, will no longer be allowed to use a special exemption that allowed hundreds of these toxic substances to be fast tracked into the marketplace. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan announced this week that the agency is closing the “low-volume” loophole. It allowed industries that agreed […]

COVID-19 vaccine could be less effective in people with high PFAS levels in blood

By: - January 4, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine could be less effective in people with high levels of perfluorinated compounds — PFAS — in their blood, several scientists said. High levels of PFAS exposure is known to be linked to a “plethora of adverse health effects,” including immune system disorders, said Linda Birnbaum, a toxicologist and former director of the National Institute […]


Column: Life in COVID-19 quarantine: One reporter’s account

By: - March 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: This column is by Lisa Sorg, a reporter for the Michigan Advance’s sister outlet, N.C. Policy Watch. My elbows were filthy. The outsides had been used to turn on light switches and turn off faucets, to latch bathroom stalls and open hotel doors. The insides had blunted sneezes and muffled coughs. I had […]