In a likely attempt to remain under the radar in the face of growing public opposition and editorials urging him to veto the bill, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory waited until Friday evening to sign into law House Bill 765, known to many as The Polluter Protection Act.
Even given the General Assembly’s ongoing efforts to dismantle environmental protections in the state, this law stands out as a flagrant and extreme effort to remove basic safeguards that have kept North Carolina's air and water clean for generations.
The law is a 71-page repeal that will result in more environmental damage than any bill passed in recent memory: air quality monitors will be dismantled, streams that ensure clean drinking water will be destroyed without mitigation, more polluted runoff will be allowed into coastal waters, and polluters will be allowed to regulate themselves through audits and hide information from the public.
“Governor McCrory had the chance to stand up for the people of North Carolina by vetoing one of the most aggressive attacks on basic environmental protections ever seen in our state,” said Derb Carter, director of SELC’s North Carolina office. “He failed to do so, and we are disappointed he remains in lockstep with the legislature in continuing to dismantle sensible protections for our air and water.
“Citizens and public interest organizations across North Carolina had asked Governor McCrory to veto the so-called ‘Polluter Protection Act' to protect our families, communities, public heath, clear air, and clean water. Instead Governor McCrory has once again catered to polluters over people by signing this bill into law, which will result in dirtier air and water for our state.”