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Faircloth Calls for Pfiesteria Funding

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There's something fishy going on on Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON, DC — North Carolina Senator Lauch Faircloth is pushing for a concerted researcheffort into the Pfiesteria problem. A bill unveiled today by Fairclothand other mid-Atlantic senators also calls for grants to study pfiesteriaat universities, most notably North Carolina State.

Senator Faircloth is one of many lawmakers right now trying to securefunding for pfiesteria research. Most lawmakers associated with NorthCarolina and Maryland are getting into the action, coming out publicly totry and get extra money. While they know the topic is popular on CapitolHill, they also know it's a good time to ask for money.

The effort to combat pfiesteria is moving at high speed, and the lateststop is the nations capital. The house subcommittee on government reformand oversight is questioning officials and researchers from North Carolinaand Maryland to find out how both states are handling the problem.

"Pfiesteria was first identified in North Carolina," explained SecretaryDavid Bruton of the NC Department of Environmental Health. "We intend tobe a major player in solving this problem."

The feds need information. The states need money. The House has alreadyapproved $7 million dollars to study pfiesteria, and leaders from severalstates are pushing for more.

Representative Mike McIntyre of North Carolina says too often governmentsticks its hands in business where it doesn't belong. This is a case,McIntyre believes, where government can help and not hinder.

Mary Ann Harrison of the Neuse River Association says her organization hasbeen looking for something like this for years, and it's finally comingabout.

Now, with the feds and states working together, real progress is on theway. It's not a moment too soon for North Carolinians worried about theorganism's threat to the environment and people.

Photographer:Joe Frieda

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