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Chemical In Greensboro Water And 'No' Vote On Mandatory African American History Course

 Photo of Greensboro downtown skyline.
Courtesy Flickr/
High levels of the likely human carcinogen 1,4 Dioxane have been identified at Greensboro's wastewater treatment plant. Photo of Greensboro downtown skyline.

Greensboro city officials are looking into high levels of a likely-carcinogenic chemical compound identified at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The levels of 1,4 dioxane in the wastewater were more than 2,700 times the EPA limit for drinking water.

The city says Shamrock Environmental Corporation is the source of the chemical release in the Cape Fear River Basin which made its way into the sewer system, but no drinking water was affected. North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is also investigating elevated levels of the same compound found in wastewater treatment plant discharge in Reidsville, a city northeast of Greensboro within the Cape Fear River Basin. Other communities downstream of Greensboro along the Cape Fear, including Pittsboro and Fayetteville, have also seen elevated levels of the compound in drinking water sources.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with WFDD environment and education reporter Keri Brown about the latest developments in the investigation into the presence of 1,4 dioxane. They also discuss a recent vote by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education to not mandate an African American history class for high school students. Brown explains how board superintendent Angela Pringle Hairston instead plans to expand a so-called “infusion program,” which weaves more diverse learning throughout the existing education system.

Music for today’s live show in Greensboro is provided by duo Em & Ty.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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