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A group of 14 North Carolina environmental advocacy groups submitted a letter to Governor McCrory yesterday in which they urged him to veto two controversial bills advanced by polluters during the waning hours of the recently adjourned legislative session.

The letter describes the two bills as follows:

“House Bill 74 is a sixty-eight-page compilation of special interest handouts, some of which have already caught your attention. As you noted in your press conference on July 26th, the bill weakens standards that protect citizens, communities and gamelands from the impacts of landfills. Additionally, you pointed out that the bill strips local governments of control over the size and types of billboards that can be erected in a community….

[Senate Bill 515] is the third delay of a much-needed and federally required clean up of Jordan Lake. The rules need a chance to bear results. Once implemented, wastewater plant upgrades and better stormwater management will reduce water pollution in Jordan Lake and the rivers and streams that feed into it. Several local governments have already invested a lot of time and money complying in good faith with the Jordan Lake rules, and Senate Bill 515 punishes them for making those investments. In addition, delaying the rules exposes upstream municipalities and developers to legal challenges for failure to adequately protect a resource that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already found to be impaired.”

Click here to read the entire letter as well as new survey results showing that strong public support of most North Carolinians for strong environmental protection laws.

LandfillThe state Senate’s recent approval of legislation that would loosen state regulations on the location of giant landfills — a change conservative lawmakers and industry lobbysists claim is necessary in order for new landfills to be built in the state —  appears to be sparking a loud and growing chorus of opponents.

This morning, the Winston-Salem Journal became the latest newspaper to editorialize against the bill, stating: 

“North Carolina need not become the dumping ground for other states. As for our own trash, we can first greatly reduce its volume and then find appropriate places for new landfills closer to the time when they are needed.”

Meanwhile, environmental advocates have launched a grassroots campaign to defeat the bill before it becomes law. According to a new alert sent out by the N.C. League of Conservation Voters earlier today, the legislation includes provisions that would: Read More

Longtime environmental advocate Molly Diggins of the Sierra Club offers the following take on so-called “solid waste reform” legislation scheduled for a final vote in the state Senate tonight:

“Tonight, the Senate will have a final (3rd) reading on S 328,  Solid Waste Management Reform Act.  S. 328 would undo many of the community, fiscal and environmental solid waste policies the state adopted in 2007. The 2007 measures were put into place after a one-year moratorium and comprehensive stakeholder process, including input from state and federal resource agencies. 

S 328 has had no associated studies and no stakeholder process.   Read More