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DENR Secretary claims enviro rules not being relaxed

John SkvarlaAt a Monday’s Locke Foundation “Shaftsbury Society” lunch, North Carolina’s Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources John Skvarla made a rather remarkable claim that you can watch in the two-minute highlight video posted here.

Skvarla claimed that his department (and, by implication, the McCrory administration) is not changing or relaxing environmental rules and regulations, but just working harder to help businesses negotiate the bureaucracy. If that’s so, it must mean that the Secretary will be working hard to secure a veto of some controversial bills currently pending on Gov. McCrory’s desk that would do just that.

For example, House Bill 74 would, according to the N. C. Conservation Network:

  • remove or weaken many of the safeguards put in place surrounding landfills in 2007;
  • remove environmental justice protections for communities where new landfills may be placed;
  • eliminate the requirement for regular maintenance of toxic liquid collection lines;
  • eliminate protective boundaries for sensitive wetlands and streams;
  • replace a state law that requires garbage trucks to be “leak-proof” (meaning NO leaks) with a vague and undefined standard that they only have to be “leak-resistant”; and
  • allow coal fired power plants and other industrial facilities to contaminate our groundwater and doesn’t enforce them to do anything until the contamination has reached a neighbor’s property line.

And then there’s Senate Bill 515 which clearly relaxes the rules regulating water pollution at Jordan Lake.

In addition to the highlights, you can also watch Skvarla’s entire speech, including his rather offensive comments about environmental advocates, at the Locke website.

[UPDATE: According to an attendee, late in the talk, Skvarla responded to a question about whether the Guv would sign HB 74 with a one word answer: “yes.”]

6 Comments


  1. Alex

    August 20, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Mr.. Skvarla has had an outstanding career in business !

  2. Doug Gibson

    August 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Which is why we should listen to him when he tells us that oil is a renewable resource.

  3. david esmay

    August 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Skvarla is a tool and an enemy of conservation and the environment, the only renewable oil that Skvarla knows about is the snake oil he’s selling.

  4. Emma

    August 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

    The “Shaftsbury Society”, burying the shaft in all of us.

  5. John

    August 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I know personally that there is no hazardous waste questionnaire anymore for businesses. Instead, you have to keep up with your own waste reduction program so that when a DENR inspector comes in, you have them ready. I know that you still have to follow the rules (which I totally want to comply with strict environmental regulations), however, they have oddly enough taken this away from businesses.

  6. Alan

    August 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Is Alex related to Dougie, or do they just share the same Civitas office?

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