The State Environmental Policy Act makes sure that major projects funded with North Carolina taxpayer dollars or built on public lands avoid causing unnecessary harm to our lands, waters and wildlife.
The April 29 Point of View “Time to modernize burdensome rules” unfortunately suggests that SEPA has outlived its usefulness. Not true.
SEPA is common sense and good public policy. House Bill 795, “SEPA Reform,” is on a fast track in the state legislature. This bill does not reform SEPA. It essentially guts the program, leaving only a false front in place.
The bill should not pass. It is not unreasonable for taxpayers to know that when their tax dollars are invested, attention is given to preventing avoidable and unnecessary harm to our state’s wildlife, rivers and streams, and wetlands and forests.
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The transparency and accountability that SEPA provides are not burdensome or unnecessary. North Carolinians care about preserving the environment, conserving our natural resources and protecting wildlife habitat. They deserve assurance that their tax dollars are being used responsibly.
If private interests and project developers think that’s too much to ask, they should not take taxpayer money or build on publicly owned land.
Senior analyst, Environmental Defense Fund