Bill Pulls Back NC Environment Mandate on Public Funds, Land

Apr 27, 2015

Leading North Carolina business lobbying groups are pushing to scale back a 1971 state law that requires government agencies to evaluate the potential results of spending public dollars or disturbing public lands on the environment.

Republican legislation poised for House floor debate Monday narrows the application of the State Environmental Policy Act.

The law directs agencies to prepare environmental assessments for things like wastewater treatment projects and improvements to state buildings and parkland. Critics say requiring such reviews are outdated and unnecessary given multiple state and federal environmental regulations now in place.

The North Carolina Chamber argues the requirements discourage private sector development too because their projects sometimes get subjected to the rules.

Tim Gestwicki with the North Carolina Wildlife Federation says the measure looks like a large overreach.