This Thursday is “Crossover Day” at the General Assembly — a self-imposed deadline used by lawmakers to weed out some of the hundreds of bills that have been introduced so far this year. Without going into the details, it’s enough to note that the crossover deadline will make for a busy week of sausage grinding on Jones Street. Lots and lots of bills — many of them destructive and counter-productive — will receive only a few minutes’ consideration before being sent long their merry way.
Two destructive environmental policy bills are near the top of the list as the fun gets underway this afternoon in the House.
“In the late 1990’s after public outcry, about massive fish kills in the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, the State developed cost effective and comprehensive strategies to reduce water pollution from all sources.[The Regulatory Reform Act of 2015] would greatly expand exemptions to North Carolina’s riparian buffer requirements and reduce local control.
Buffers are the most cost effective mechanism that we have to protect water quality in streams and rivers. Since federal and state water quality standards still have to be met, reducing buffers serves only to increase the costs to farmers and local governments.”
A new version of the bill would also allow giant hog farm populations to grow.
Meanwhile, later on this evening, the full House will consider a widely criticized proposal to gut the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA). As Craig Jarvis of Raleigh’s News & Observer reported the other day: Read More