Legislative Watch: Panel Recommends More Study—but No Funding—on Water Pollution
Surprise, surprise. A state legislative study committee recommends more study of a growing water pollution issue, but ducks any question of paying to fix it.
The House Select Committee on River Quality unanimously voted to send forward for House consideration a set of recommendations for more study of ‘emerging pollutants’ like GenX. Among its directives, DEQ is to review the water pollution discharge permits it issues for their adequacy in dealing with such pollutants.
Unfortunately, the committee ignored pleas to recommend adequate funding for that work. Despite calls from multiple citizen environmental groups, and even an appalling picture painted by DEQ regulators of insufficient testing equipment, the committee failed to recommend additional state funding.
Upper Neuse Riverkeeper Matthew Starr said the study recommendation without funding only “kicks the can down the road” without making real action possible. Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Mary Maclean Asbill said bluntly, “We do not support this bill. It doesn’t do anything to address GenX in the air. It doesn’t allow DEQ to pass new rules now. No reports are due until the end of 2018. It doesn’t help people who are drinking the water.”
NCLCV and other conservation advocates will be working during the 2018 legislative sessions to press our state legislators to put their (our) money where their mouths (and our health) are—actually protecting our drinking water sources. Simply more study is not good enough.