Raleigh – As southeast North Carolina continues to fight for clean water free from GenX, and as Republicans ram through a budget in under a week with no amendments, a new report uncovered that Republicans made changes to their budget to appease Chemours, the company responsible for dumping GenX into our waterways. From WRAL:
A lobbying group that includes GenX manufacturer Chemours asked for three changes to legislation targeting the company’s chemical emissions, and it got all three during a complex back-and-forth that saw the bill morph significantly between rollout and inclusion in the new state budget.
That means Chemours had more input in the budget than the people of North Carolina. I guess that’s what giving the maximum political donations to Speaker Moore and Senate Leader Berger earns you.
The three changes Chemours requested and received include:
- Removing all references to “health goals.” State regulators had set the health goal – the amount of GenX in the water – at 140 parts per trillion, lowering it from 70,000. Chemours wanted to eliminate the health goals all together, and it got it.
- Handcuffing state regulators by limiting the scope of what they can test, ensuring that the state cannot test drinking water for many emerging contaminants outside of GenX and a handful of other known chemicals.
- Different equipment for regulators to limit what they can test. The bill gives DEQ a different spectrometer than the one requested, limiting the number of chemicals DEQ could examine.
Even Republicans admit that their GenX bill does not do enough. GOP Rep. Holly Grange, which represents an area hit by GenX, said of the GOP GenX bill, “It’s not ideal.”
Yet Republicans are so blind in their desire to undercut Governor Cooper, they refuse to fully fund the state’s environmental regulators, instead shoveling money to their political cronies at the expense of the people of southeast North Carolina.
“It’s shocking and disgraceful that the company responsible for dumping GenX in our waterways had more input into our budget than the people of North Carolina,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Republicans continue to rig our state and sacrifice our environment to benefit their corporate donors. Chemours is getting a good return on their investment.”