Donald Van Der Vaart Coverage
Former NC environmental chief accuses Cooper administration of 'stifling' his opinions
Weeks after state Department of Environmental Quality officials placed former agency chief Donald van der Vaart on "investigatory leave," he stepped down from the agency Monday, saying officials in Gov. Roy Cooper's administration were trying to "stifle" him.
Former DEQ leaders on paid leave after Trump administration appointment
A pair of holdovers from the state Department of Environmental Quality under former Gov. Pat McCrory are on "investigatory leave" under the new administration.
Controversial overhaul to EPA advisory board includes former DEQ chief
A former head of North Carolina's environmental agency has been appointed to an advisory panel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a controversial overhaul of the panel by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
NC environmental chief takes demotion to keep job
Secretary of Environmental Quality Donald van der Vaart plans to take a position in his department's Division of Air Quality in order to avoid being shut out altogether when the administration of Gov.-elect Roy Cooper takes over next week.
DEQ chief: State tried not to be alarmist over well water safety
One week after state leaders publicly accused a state toxicologist of rogue science in setting a safety threshold for hexavalent chromium in drinking water, North Carolina's top environmental regulator now says his agency never disagreed with the scientific findings, just the way they were presented to well owners.
NC environmental chief backs restriction on solar farms, incentives for nuclear plants
Critics of solar energy are trying to rein in the industry by rewriting state laws, and the head of the state Department of Environmental Quality is leading the charge, pushing the state Energy Policy Council to recommend some major changes.