January 11, 2018/Press

Wilmington GOP Senators Silent on Senate’s Refusal to Take Up GenX Bill

Raleigh – While the North Carolina House passed a bill yesterday offering a modest yet incomplete first step at addressing the GenX contamination, Republican senators from affected areas were shamefully silent about the measure:

Some key senators in the debate, like Wilmington Republican Michael Lee, wouldn’t say Wednesday what they thought about the House proposal.

Sen. Lee’s constituents are those most affected by GenX and have demanded he and his Republican colleagues take immediate action to protect our drinking water and air quality.

Meanwhile, Democrats from affected areas stood up for their constituents and against polluters – despite Republican members once again standing in their way:

In addition to shooting down the DHHS funding request, Republicans in the House also shot down attempts by Democratic representatives Deb Butler and William Richardson to add amendments that would’ve strengthened environmental regulations statewide.

“I think North Carolina should be in charge of our destiny on this,” Butler, who is from Wilmington, said before the House vote. “It’s time for North Carolina to get tough on polluters.”

Yesterday’s bill – which came six months after the state asked for additional resources for DEQ & DHHS and didn’t include any funding for DHHS – was political cover for Republican elected officials in southeast North Carolina. Now it seems Republicans can’t even do political cover right.

“Republican Senators like Senator Lee sent a loud message to their constituents by saying nothing, telling people in southeast North Carolina ‘you’re on your own,’” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “People worried about their drinking water and air quality should stand up to Sen. Lee and Republicans in the General Assembly and demand they fight for safe drinking water.”