The current NC trends in law and legislation creation appear to focus on:
a) turning away federal money for social programs, and to make “necessary budget cuts” therein.
b) accepting federal incentives for corporate and commercial growth.
Y’all, they (as in NCGA folks– a suspicious number of which are either real estate developers and/or lawyers) are messing with our… everything.
Like water. Here, there, everywhere. For example, in the Farm Act:
DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO JOINTLY PETITION THE WILMINGTON DISTRICT OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO ALLOW FOR GREATER FLEXIBILITY AND OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM STREAM AND WETLANDS MITIGATION BEYOND THE IMMEDIATE WATERSHED WHERE DEVELOPMENT WILL OCCUR.
Developer Tom wants to build some coastal property and make some fancy-mitigated wetlands, you know, over there somewhere. Cool beans. Unless you are a loggerhead turtle, and really, what do we need turtles for anyway?
I mean North Carolina’s representatives are diligently working to write legislation based on solid environmental science. Look at real estate broker/ State Representative Pat McElraft’s bill that specifically would NOT mandate regulatory sea-level policy based on scientific evidence of sea-level change. Regulations that would have risked a large number of already-approved, or under-review, land use plans.
M’kay, developers and real estate brokers (no conflict there, snort) simply don’t believe in climate change. More importantly, they don’t believe in rescinding the millions of dollars in planned building permits over something that might happen.
Since we’re already talking about water, grab the environmental legislation and a shovel for this giant pile of inorganic fertilizer, House Bill 94.
Why exactly should everyone in this state be nervous about the folks futzing with the environmental laws? It starts at the top, with John Skvarla, Secretary of N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Then next, Assistant Secretary Mitch Gillespie, a long time Republican member of the house with a lot of corporate backing not known for environmentally friendly policy.
A beach-loving state, yes. And now also a state embracing Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) with the same fervent enthusiasm a child has for a new puppy. But it’s okay, because certainly the newly reconstituted Mining and Energy Commission has been populated with members that are politically/industrially objective, and scientific experts.
Okay, probably not. You don’t have to drill too far down the member list before finding the new vice chairman of the Commission is George Howard– co-founder and CEO of Restoration Systems.
“It’s good to see big-time institutional capital come into it, because we want to see the industry professionalized — not a lot of mom-and-pops,” said George Howard, co-founder and president of Raleigh, N.C.-based Restoration Systems, which banks 25,000 acres of wetlands and 60 miles of waterways in half a dozen states.”
and Howard lauded the success of other mitigation firms. Firms that think…
Restoration Systems… why does that sound familiar? Ah, right- John Skvarla was the CEO.
You can get more government/corporation incestuous than that.
The people charged with protecting the environment are the same people that view environmentally unfriendly activities as things good for business? This seem like a horrible idea.
But wait– there’s more!
House Bill 321, which amends Local Solid Waste Planning made me snort when I saw that they replaced actual goals and reporting practices with: “local government shall make a good‑faith effort to achieve the State’s forty percent (40%) municipal solid waste reduction goal and to comply with the State’s comprehensive solid waste management plan”
I’m a parent– this is what I think of when I see the words good-faith: It was a total accident that I was kicking the window when it broke.
At this point I admit to hours of reading punctuated by snorts.
There was intent written into those laws on solid waste, landfills, and new brownfield mitigation rules– you can smell it. At first I couldn’t find the relationship between the systematic deregulation and the why.
Everything to make my little hippie heart dance with glee.
Except when I turned on the hyperfocus it looks a little more like this:
And after looking at what ReVenture proposes and considering the types of things being written into law? When looking at–
ReVenture happening in McCrory’s previous backyard; if the NCGA wasn’t slipping in new deregulation legislation on brownfield development ; and if both the brownfield development and “greenness” didn’t come with so many nice local incentives ; if the recycling part of ReVenture didn’t involve burning trash and trees and the NCGA wasn’t proposing amendments to air quality rules; if ReVenture wasn’t right off Catawba River and the Environmental Management Commission (goodness that’s a lot of lawyers) wasn’t getting ready to amend all of the Riparian Buffer Rules for the state’s watershed  ; if the EMC had to follow their own rules about making rules ; if none of this ; or this  existed.
 House Bill 94: Rules adopted pursuant to this section are not subject to G.S. 150B‑21.8 through G.S. 150B‑21.14.
 House Bill 94: PART XXXII. PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS WITH EXPIRED AUTHORIZATIONS…
 . . . as described in sub‑sub‑subdivision 3. of sub‑subdivision b. of subdivision (1) of this subsection. . .
I have to stop; I can’t look at this anymore. My children are currently making their own lunch– and it sounds like it involves raisins, hummus, pomegranate juice, and cupcakes. I think Elliot taught himself to read yesterday and I’m pretty sure that Zach just washed a load of clothes.
As amazingly self-sufficient as they have been these past few days, it cannot last much longer. And now I feel obligated to take them to Chuck E Cheese (shudder) to demonstrate my appreciation.
I’m torn because:
1) it’s both fascinating and horrifying to see what a large group of intelligent psychopaths do all day.
2) there is an ah-mazing story arc sitting in all of this, but that would mean abandoning my other one.