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Contempt for Environment: It’s Taken Hold in a State Near You and It’s Spreading!

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North Carolina is in a race to the bottom-again!  I’ve told you how it suspended the Jordan Lake rules, years in the making, because some upstream polluters don’t care if Cary, Morrisville and Apex Citizens have clean drinking water. And they have deep pockets. The rules for the lake had barely gone into effect when the GOP leaders in the GA claimed they didn’t “work” and voted to suspend them. While the worst governor in America runs ads pretending to care about water quality, he and the GA have installed a contemptuous regulatory staff, which merely pretends to regulate and oversee water quality. Thanks to a grudging GA, already in place since 2010, the disregard for clean water was already in place before this governor took office though. He’s just helping make it all worse. Now there’s more in the ever-worsening picture for NC water quality. I’ll quote the Raleigh News and Observer to show you I do not exaggerate:

Once an innovative leader in water quality science, North Carolina has fallen behind in meeting federal pollution standards.

North Carolina is the only state in its EPA region – which includes Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida – that has not adopted EPA-approved rules on measuring toxic metals like arsenic, cadmium, copper, silver and zinc in its water, according to a letter the EPA sent on July 31 to Tom Reeder, the director of the Division of Water Resources, within the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Read more here

There’s more below the fold…

Worse than Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama! You have to tried hard to accomplish that dishonor.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is supposed to have public hearings and the make proposals to improve water quality every three years. As the News and Observer notes, though, “proposed changes are not a fix.” But the bottom line is the state must at minimum meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.  NC isn’t doing that much anymore.

The head of the Water Resources planning division states that what’s holding things up is a 2011 bill complicating the requirement that the state identify the financial impact of any changes before they can go into effect. It seems are directed at grinding improved water quality to a halt. But, the former head of this office had completed the budget for the proposed changes in 2011 before she left office.  She couldn’t understand why the hearing hasn’t happened yet.  Hmmm. Can we say obstruction?  

On top of all that, there are also now friends of horizontal fracking throughout state government, especially in the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) where friends of fracking hold every seat. And they do not care about the consequences to real people under the long reach of the horizontal arms of fracking wells. They reach 1-2 miles outward.

For all these reasons, water quality is in peril in North Carolina. Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are depending upon us doing better. Heck, the poor recent track record will impact those of us alive now too. Legacy matters. I love my beautiful state.  I will work to defend her and change this harmful direction.  But know this: Its’ easier to avoid rather than reverse bad governance. Don’t NC Virginia (any more than Virginia already has slid backwards). Virginia cannot afford a Cuccinelli governorship. The man doesn’t even believe in science much less environmental quality.  

  • kindler

    …we’ll make sure to send that radioactive water down to our friends in NC too!

  • Progressive86

    Let’s also not forget our good friend, E.W. Jackson. While I have no earthly idea what environmental views this minister of disquietude preaches, I’m certain it’s not oneness with Mother Earth! Brothers, sisters, fellow Virginians, let us act to banish the negative forces that have converged upon our great state of Virginia! Let’s vote for Terry McAuliffe and Mark Herring (among others) so that our environment can survive another generation and Kathy can be allowed some peace!

  • DJRippert

    The politics of conservation may be interesting in the case of North Carolina v Virginia.  However, I’d submit that those politics are absolutely fascinating in the case of Maryland v Virginia – especially in regard to the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding watershed.

    Maryland and its counties have implemented a series of very tough environmental rules regarding the Chesapeake Bay.  No new development within 200′ of the shore, no boathouses, all new development must implement a natural buffer area with indigenous plants, the “rain tax”, etc.

    An interesting thing is happening this year.  Crabbing and fishing in Maryland is, as they say, “off the hook” (perhaps they should say “on the hook”!).  There are more red drum than anybody can remember seeing, the rockfish seem to be everywhere in the Middle Bay, you could walk across the water on the backs of the croakers, crabbers can be seen running trot lines on almost every creek in Maryland.

    I was speaking to a fishing friend down in Deltaville, VA.  There is no fishing or crabbing joy in Deltaville this year, at least according to my friend.

    Now, in fairness, one year is the blink of an eye on the bay and nobody really understands all that happens in the bay and why.  However, many scientific measures of Maryland’s part of the bay seem to demonstrate that Maryland’s expensive and extensive efforts to clean up the bay are working.  All of which means that watermen, fishing guides, marinas, bait shops and local restaurants are enjoying the economic benefits of a cleaner bay.

    Meanwhile, back in Virginia, Cuccinelli is proud of himself for preventing the EPA from demanding that Fairfax County clean up the shambolic engineering of rain water runoff from the Beltway through Accotink Creek.  That hopeless situation results in the regular displacement of nitrogen which is washed into the Potomac River and then the bay.