HOUSE BILL 162 - i.e., HOUSE BILL "CORPORATE CODDLING"
We recently shared an article that described two ways for North Carolina to regulate GenX at the state level.
One way is for the Dpt. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to set a water quality standard for GenX, since no federal standard exists. State law allows DEQ to take this action, in cases of “a serious and unforeseen threat to the public health, safety or welfare” (NC G.S. § 150B:19.3). At least five unregulated, untested, unknown chemicals in the drinking water supply for nearly 300,000 is undoubtedly 'unforeseen' and definitely poses 'serious threats to public health, safety and welfare.'
But a bill is currently making its way through the NC House that could obstruct DEQ's ability to set a GenX standard.
House Bill 162 was originally introduced in February with bipartisan support, as a bill that made minor corrections to a series of existing laws. Since then, it has morphed into yet another attempt to further stymie DEQ from protecting North Carolinians.
- The bill would require that elected officials approve of any new science-based environmental regulations that exceed federal standards, even in cases of serious and unforeseen threats.
- The bill would PROHIBIT adoption of new rules if they would impose a cost (to anyone, including private industries) of more than $100 million over five years; and LIMIT adoption of new rules that would impose a cost of $10 million over five years, requiring 60% approval and a governor's signature - even in cases of serious or unforeseen threats to public health.
In plain terms, if a new rule requiring Chemours to completely eliminate GenX from its discharge would cost the company more than $100 million over five years, that rule could not go into effect without several layers of additional review—regardless of the fact that the elimination of GenX would result in a huge environmental and human health benefits that would save the state from shelling out state funds to respond to the crisis.
Government overreach and corporate coddling --
in the face of serious threats to public health???
That's not what we elected these folks to do.