North Carolina Legislative Update! 5/19/23

Many of the bills we were concerned about failed to make crossover, which is the deadline for bills to get through their chamber committees and pass on the chamber floor for a full vote. Bills that did meet that crossover deadline will now have a companion bill in the opposite chamber to move forward. Some bills that did not meet crossover could be added into the budget negotiations. Bills that are still moving forward: 

HB 28- Managing Environmental Waste Act – This bill proposed to limit single use plastics in all government buildings, and conduct a study on the impacts of single use plastics waste that would lead to stronger limits on this source of pollution.

HB177 – DEQ Omnibus – This bill would fast track certain permits like Interbasin transfers for water uses 

HB600- Regulatory Reform Act – This bill would allow development in a buffer as long as that stormwater is captured and treated. As we know, vegetative buffers are the most effective way to manage and treat stormwater, and this bill would remove those ecosystem services. 

SB582 – NC Farm Act – This bill has terrible implications for wetlands, removing protections for wetlands that could be stronger than the federal government. The federal protections for wetlands are fought over with every new presidential administration, and are currently threatening to remove protections for any wetland that is not directly adjacent to a river. 

Another terrible piece of this bill is that it would eliminate the financial penalties for buffer violations by requiring no higher penalty that the timber value of the vegetation that is cut. 

All of these bills have passed one chamber, either house or senate, so we still have an opportunity to remove bad provisions in the companion bills in the opposite chamber. Please contact your representatives and let them know you will be watching how they vote on these bills. 


Posted in From The River: Blog

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