Just before midnight yesterday, the North Carolina Legislature passed House Bill 765, known to many as The Polluter Protection Act. The bill is a 71-page repeal of safeguards that have kept North Carolina's air and water clean for generations. Cumulatively, these rollbacks will result in more environmental damage than any bill passed in recent memory. Air quality monitors will be dismantled, streams that protect habitat and ensure clean drinking water will be destroyed, and the provisions for environmental self-audits and risk-based remediation will remove the incentive for polluters to prevent environmentally damaging spills and releases.
While bill sponsors try to cast the bill as a jobs-generator, dirty air and dirty water are not a jobs plan. As Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, said during last night’s debate, “This bill is saying, ‘Come here if you want to pollute.’ We’re giving you a set of rules on how to do it.”
After working tirelessly to block passage in the General Assembly, SELC will now petition Governor Pat McCrory to veto this bill that promises dirtier air and water for the citizens of North Carolina.