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Yet another environmental outrage at the General Assembly

Posted By Rob Schofield On July 29, 2014 @ 8:42 am In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

Falls Lake [1]It’s last-minute sausage making time down on Jones Street and lawmakers are doing their worst to ram through a raft of measures that are of, by and for the well-heeled special interests. See for example the 54-page “technical corrections” bill [2] that was passed by the House last week and that’s scheduled to blitz through the Senate Rules Committee this morning.

On the environmental front, the last-minute mischief is taking many forms, including, as reporter Craig Jarvis of Raleigh’s News & Observer reports this morning, another industry-designed threat to clean water. This is from Jarvis’ story entitled “Stream buffer protections rewritten by industry, DENR [3]“:

A plan to update regulations that protect streams and rivers was adopted last year after a nearly five-year process that incorporated input from a wide range of interests.

In just five months this winter, the McCrory administration rewrote those rules with the help of private companies that had a financial stake in the outcome – including the company where state Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla once worked….

Environmental groups that had been following the development of the new rules for years were surprised to find out the rules had been rewritten at all. They didn’t find out about it until this month, when a low-profile bill surfaced in the General Assembly that would authorize replacing the rules with the version written by the seven-member group.

“I didn’t even know they had met or issued a report,” said Heather Jacobs Deck, riverkeeper with the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, who was involved with the original rules. “That was a shock. We had no idea. It was a little frustrating to know at the end of the process there were tweaks and other changes. We weren’t part of it.”

None of this is to say that there might not be good reasons to update the rules in this complex and important area. But the fact that the McCrory-Berger-Tillis team is plunging ahead without even informing — much less consulting — the state’s incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated environmental advocacy community is a testament to the bad faith that the state’s conservative political leadership has long brought (and continues to bring) to what ought to be its sacred duty to preserve our air, land and water.

Read Jarvis’ entire story by clicking here [3]. Read the bill in question by clicking here [4].

more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/28/4036052/stream-buffer-protections-rewritten.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/28/4036052/stream-buffer-protections-rewritten.html#storylink=cpy

 

 


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URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/07/29/yet-another-environmental-outrage-at-the-general-assembly/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Falls-Lake.jpg

[2] the 54-page “technical corrections” bill: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2013&BillID=h1133&submitButton=Go

[3] Stream buffer protections rewritten by industry, DENR: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/28/4036052/stream-buffer-protections-rewritten.html

[4] by clicking here: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2013&BillID=s883&submitButton=Go

[5] Editorial: Pro-fracking forces are ignoring voices they don’t want to hear : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/08/13/editorial-pro-fracking-forces-are-ignoring-voices-they-dont-want-to-hear/

[6] Fracking bill’s next stop – Governor McCrory’s desk (video) : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/05/29/fracking-bills-next-stop-governor-mccrorys-desk-video/

[7] Governor touts job creation, environmental safeguards in signing fast-track fracking bill : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/06/04/governor-touts-job-creation-environmental-safeguards-in-signing-fast-track-fracking-bill/

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