Regarding the July 2 news article “Regulatory bill changed, passed”: House Bill 765, Regulatory Reform Act of 2015, contains provisions that undermine protections for communities against harmful pollution. It is scheduled to be discussed soon in the North Carolina House. This has serious implications for environmental justice.
Companies that voluntarily disclose environmental violations to the state are not punishable by fines, and this information can legally remain hidden from the communities affected.
Public interest attorneys who file cases against weak state environmental policies must pay the state’s attorney fees if they do not win their case. This is intended to prevent attorneys from taking such cases.
It would make it nearly impossible to find lawyers to represent environmental groups working against policies that threaten communities. This would reduce protection for those living downstream from sewage and downwind from air polluters.
What are our representatives trying to do to us? And when will the voters of North Carolina wake up to this? Haven’t we learned our lesson with the coal ash spill?