Environment

This week: What you need to know, where you need to be to follow environmental issues

 

What does the Senate’s environmental budget contain? Magic 8 Ball: “Reply hazy try again” (Photo: Creative Commons)

The Magic 8 Ball’s messages are hard to read this week in that we know a) there will be an attempt to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of the hog nuisance lawsuit bill. But when that will happen, well stay tuned. Likewise, we policy wonks are eagerly awaiting the unwrapping of the Senate budget as if it were Christmas, our birthdays and Valentine’s Day, all in one.

The task will be to parse not only the line items, but also the fiscal policies — the underlying philosophy behind the financial winners and losers. Then it’s time compare the Senate recommendation to the governor’s budget, released earlier this year. Cooper has proposed adding positions to permitting staff and boosting funding for disaster relief.

Tuesday
10 a.m.-noon, the NC Policy Collaboratory Advisory Board meets at the UNC Service of Excellence, 400 Roberson St., Carrboro. Among the agenda items are updates on several projects, including the public health impacts of Hurricane Matthew.

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. NC Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan speaks “in conversation” as part of Rural Day. NC Museum of History auditorium, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh.

2:30 p.m., US Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure is holding hearings to examine water resources and the role of public and private sectors. This could touch on future privatization policy, already in motion in North Carolina in the form of House Bill 351. The US Senate hearings are streamed online.

Wednesday
The committees of the Environmental Management Commission meet, beginning at 9 a.m., with Water Allocation, followed by Air Quality and Groundwater/Waste. The G/W group will further discuss the state’s regulatory programs for coal ash rules.

After lunch, the Water Quality Committee has a lengthy agenda, including coal ash, the federal-state conflict over the list of impaired waters and a presentation on state assistance to local water utilities. Location: Ground floor hearing room of the Archdale Building, on the north end of Halifax Mall, 512 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.

10 a.m., the U.S. Senate holds more hearings on the “need to modernize” the Endangered Species Act. (Translation: Roll back the ESA). The committee is scheduled to examine state views on the issue. Streams online.

Thursday
9 a.m., the full Environmental Management Commission meets in the same location to discuss the committees’ reports and the most interesting part: to hear from the various division directors of DEQ on the state of legislation.

Just announced: 10 a.m., Senate Committee on Agriculture/Environment Natural Resources meets in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building. No agenda has been announced.

Just canceled: The meeting listed directly above.

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