An environmental advocate blasted the state General Assembly Friday for a legislative session she said prioritizes the needs of business over the natural world.
"This was a pretty damaging session for environmental interests," said Nadia Luhr, policy analyst for NC Conservation Network.
The Republican political leadership counters that their actions better balanced those needs.
"Being pro-business and pro-environment are not mutually exclusive," said Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake.
He sponsored legislation that he says will help small businesses dig out from under a mountain of state rules and regulations.
"North Carolina has 25,000 regulations on the books, many of which have never been reviewed or assessed as to whether they are achieving that process," he said.
Luhr said it is the reduction in environmental protections, not regulations, that worries her.
"The state rules give much broader protections, and we are stripping those away now," she said.
She referred to a bill that would delay plans to clean up Jordan Lake and another she says could put leaky garbage trucks on North Carolina roads.
Luhr said a portion of the Regulatory Reform Act means garbage trucks no longer have to be leakproof, just leak-resistant.
Murry said he doesn't want garbage trucks dripping down the road, but he said it was another case of government rules gone too far.
"There were overzealous regulators out there that saw trash trucks with condensation on the outside calling that a leaky truck," he said.
Luhr did find some places to praise the legislators – for bills that failed to pass. She cited the stalled move to lift the moratorium on fracking in North Carolina and a failed bill to change protections of wetlands.