- Published on Thursday, April 30 2015 15:41
From Pricey Harrison this week:
An environmental protection that requires additional scrutiny of publicly financed projects would be substantially scaled back in a bill, HB 795, the House passed late last night on a vote of 74-41. I argued vigorously against the bill both in committee and during floor debate. North Carolina's environmental policy act (SEPA) is only triggered when a project involves the use of state land or taxpayer funds (although incentives were exempted a few years ago). SEPA is meant to provide transparency and the opportunity for public participation when public funds are used, as well as taxpayer protection. HB 795 adds a threshold of projects exceeding $10 million or involving land exceeding 5 acres and adds a number of exemptions that nearly render the act meaningless. This significant policy change, a priority of the state's Chamber of Commerce, received less that 20 minutes of committee debate before being sent to the floor last night.