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Conservation group unhappy with environmental policies rallies

Posted October 18, 2013

— A group critical of North Carolina state government environmental policies headed to downtown Raleigh Friday morning to let its feelings be known.

Members of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network rallied near the Legislative Building and walked to the headquarters of the state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources nearby.

The network calls the event a "rally to end environmental racism" and alleges state policies and permits allow industries to pollute without regard to the health of residents or their property values.

The group has recently questioned why lawmakers turned down about $500,000 in federal money to conduct water tests. The money would have paid for water testing in and around the area where fracking is expected to start in 2015. 

In an email dated Sept. 3, the state informed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it does not need a $222,595 grant for water quality monitoring in areas seen as candidates for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a method of natural gas drilling that has spurred environmental concerns in other states.

Tom Reeder, director of the state Division of Water Resources, defends the decision to turn down the funds. 

"We're in very good financial conditions. Nobody has to worry about that," he said. "When you want us to do a study, we'll be happy to do a study."

The rally and march coincide with the network's 15th annual Environmental Justice Summit being held in Whitakers.


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  • Sally1023 Oct 18, 2013

    Just read all the comments against the enviroment. How can anyone not want to protect the State's environment?! Maybe North Carolina, as a whole, got exactly the government they wanted when they voted in 2010 and 2014. It may not affect the anti-everythings who made the comments below but if the State continues the way it is, falling and failing, You antiers may just get poorly educated children with health issues. Democrary in a wondrous thing.

  • glarg Oct 18, 2013

    I am unhappy with these " environmental policies rallies" too.

  • WRAL_USER Oct 18, 2013

    The same folks who scream about debt passing to our children and grandchildren seem to have no compunction about advocating for these same children inheriting contaminated, polluted, non potable water, all to make a buck... FOR SOMEONE ELSE!!! We can all live with debt, no one can live without water...

  • movingforward Oct 18, 2013

    There are no strings attached the getting the grant money. The state has been accepting this grant for years. All of a sudden, it has strings attached? That`s just what some people want us to believe because they don`t want the testing done. Plain and simple. Who ever says anything different does not know. How do I know? I worked on projects before using this same grant.

  • goldenosprey Oct 18, 2013

    "I'm willing to bet that people who are against fracking don't know it has been around for decades." Wade

    Of course we do. We've been watching those you tube videos of flaming tapwater for years.

    "I love the taste of benzene in the morning. Tastes like... PROFITS!"- anon.

  • josephlawrence43 Oct 18, 2013

    Well, one thing is for sure--if you truly want to slow things down (if not stop them all together) you test, then re-test and then re-retest and so on and so on. There would never be an end to it because the answers will never come out the way the environmentalists want them to.

  • Glock07 Oct 18, 2013

    I think they rally just to stay out of work, the ones that do work. They will rally at the drop of a hat.

  • goldenosprey Oct 18, 2013

    I keep reading about all these "strings attached" to federal money, but no poster has presented a string with the water testing grant. Just reactionary speculation.

    Hint: it's not about $, It's about test results: More than one such test over time will show us what weird chemicals have found their way to our water table and that must be hush-hush. Don't want to upset the fracking profiteers!

    And shunning this fed$ means it will end up in another state, not saved.

    To all you who support ignorance of the water quality, there is a scene in Erin Brockovich where she invites Utilities execs to drink from a pitcher of water near their dump site.

    Bottoms up!

  • sweetlyght Oct 18, 2013

    Tom Reeder, director of the state Division of Water Resources, defends the decision to turn down the funds.

    "We're in very good financial conditions. Nobody has to worry about that,"

    Wait, what? All I've been hearing is the state is cutting back. The state isn't hiring employees they need, they're cutting pay perks for workers, and the state is in very good financial conditions?

  • baldchip Oct 18, 2013

    Leftist groups question why every "freeby" from DC is not taken!! That's because they are not free.

    Every dollar from DC comes with strings-sometimes-rope!! Maybe our Governor and his cabinet did not want to deal with DC's long tenticles!! I would not!!

    The same was said for fed. unemployment LOANS. NC already owed the Fed. $2.7 BILLION. That did not matter to some!! Show them the money-irregardless whether the fed had it or not(they would just print more)!!