DENR needs consistency
DENR Secretary John Skvarla has responded to his employee’s fiery resignation letter and editorials with yet another assertion that DENR’s “customers” are those seeking permits, not the rest of us who rely on DENR to enforce the rules and regulations on the books that protect us and our shared environment (“Misleading attacks on DENR,” Sept. 17 letter). He said he thinks the “culture” of his staff needs changing.
I am a longtime conservationist who was awarded the state’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine for my environmental work. I can say for sure that in the past 30 years or so, DENR employees and staff have been dedicated partners in protecting North Carolina’s air and water and natural resources. I consider myself a “customer.”
The only complaint I have is when these employees suffer pressure from their governor and/or legislature, making it hard for them to be as diligent as the rules would require. A recent example is the legislature’s overturning of the Boyleston Creek Trout Waters designation made by DENR and the Environmental Management Commission.
As far as encouraging business in N.C., what is needed is firmness and consistency in enforcing the rules, not the political meddling the secretary seems to favor.