Under the Dome

Senate GOP targets more environmental regulations

Another round of shaving environmental regulations is proposed in a bill introduced by a group of Republican state senators this week.

SB612 would do several things, including:

Prohibit cities and counties from enacting ordinances that are more stringent than state or federal regulations.

Eliminate riparian buffer protections that prohibit development on private property along the Neuse River and the Tar-Pamlico River basins.

Fast-track some stormwater management system permits, and erosion and sedimentation control plans.

Extend water and air quality permits from eight years to 10 years, and allow third parties to contest state regulators’ decisions.

The Regulatory Reform Act of 2013 continues the GOP-controlled legislature’s mission begun last session of stripping away environmental protections, which they say in some cases unreasonably hinder economic growth. The primary sponsors are Sen. Harry Brown of Jacksonville – who led last year’s regulatory charge in the Senate – along with Sen. Brent Jackson of Autryville, and Sen. Andrew Brock of Davie County.

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