Yesterday the North Carolina House and Senate voted to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of a far-ranging environmental bill (HB-56/Session Law 2017-209) that provides state money to study the impact of the chemical GenX which has discharged into the Cape Fear River by a Bladen County plant for years.
The Senate vote was 30-9. The vote in the House was 70-44, and largely along party lines.
The legislation provides $435,000 to local utilities and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington to help treat and remove GenX from the Cape Fear River. Cooper had vetoed the bill, saying funding was insufficient (Cooper requested $2.6 million) and it failed to adequately address the underlying issues of water contamination and clean up.
The legislation stipulates that the funds be directed to the Wilmington area to help improve the drinking water there.
In August, Civitas urged that money directed for the cleanup be sent directly to the Cape Fear Region. In addition, in early September Civitas urged the Environmental Protection Agency to step in to facilitate the cleanup process and to ensure clean water standards are met.