DISMANTLED — The North Carolina Government’s Attack on Environmental Protections

After decades of protecting North Carolina’s natural resources as well as its economy, over the past six years the North Carolina General Assembly and executive branch have begun to systematically dismantle the longstanding, sensible policies that make North Carolina a great place to visit, live, and do business. Attacks on our environment include:

  • Slashing by 40% the budget of the agency responsible for protecting clean air and clean water
  • Gutting state environmental boards and replacing many scientific, health, and nonprofit members with industry and political appointees
  • Reducing by half the acreage of land acquired by the N.C. State Parks System
  • Prohibiting any state environmental protections that are more stringent than federal laws

Since 2011, when the current majority took control of the North Carolina General Assembly, every legislative session has seen new laws and amendments to existing laws that have eroded and dismantled important protections for the state’s environment. North Carolina’s water, air, land, energy, and coastal policies have been assaulted by the state’s current leadership. The results have been catastrophic.

During these six legislative sessions, the legislature has targeted many other rights and needs that North Carolina citizens may have taken for granted, and people might have lost track of the damage wrought by six years of dismantling the state’s environmental protections. On the heels of the 2016 legislative short session, the Southern Environmental Law Center here provides an overview of six years’ worth of harm to the state’s environment and the programs that protect it.

Go to the report…


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