For immediate release: NCLCV Calls on Governor Cooper to Veto House Bill 56

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2017
Contact: Dan Crawford; dan@nclcv.org; 919.539.1422

NCLCV Calls on Governor Cooper to Veto House Bill 56
Legislation strips control from local governments to protect environment, public health

RALEIGH: Today, Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations with the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, issued a call to Governor Roy Cooper to veto House Bill 56, “Amend Environmental Laws.”

“Like we’ve seen play out numerous times before, North Carolina legislators seized upon a political moment to push forward a policy that does too little, too late for the thousands of North Carolinians who depend on clean water in the Cape Fear River. House Bill 56 fails to allocate the necessary resources to the state agency responsible for enforcing pollution rules, which are far fewer thanks to these same legislative leaders playing ‘whack-a-mole’ with longstanding water quality safeguards. Other reasons to veto this terrible bill include:

 

Removes authority from local municipalities to create trash collection plans that work for the county and ensure strong environmental and public health protections;

Repeals the nearly 10-year, locally-supported ban on plastic bags in the Outer Banks;

Allows law enforcement agencies to mow down natural buffers that protect streams and rivers from pollution if there’s a “determined risk of public safety,” which is a slippery slope that could lead to massive clear cutting under the guise of maintaining law and order; and

Gives carte blanche for any type of trails to be built along the Catawba River basin, essentially ignoring existing laws that provide guidance on appropriate widths and surfacing for public walking trails.

Let us not forget: these same lawmakers who are bellyaching about GenX contamination and attempting to pin the blame on Governor Cooper’s administration have voted consistently against stronger water protections and for a budget that cut $1.8 million from DEQ in the current biennium, essentially handcuffing the very experts hired to keep North Carolinians safe from contaminants like GenX. The bottom line is that with fewer people the department cannot complete one of its core functions: to keep the drinking water of North Carolinians safe and clean.”

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NC League of Conservation Voters is a nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing North Carolina’s natural environment. NCLCV has been working to protect North Carolina’s environment and our citizen’s health for nearly 50 years, turning environmental values into North Carolina priorities. NCLCV’s vision for the future of North Carolina is that all citizens and our elected decision-makers will better understand and appreciate North Carolina’s unique natural environment, and the integral role it plays in North Carolina’s economy and quality of life. Visit nclcv.org for more information.