(RALEIGH, NC – July 24, 2013) The North Carolina budget that became law today will fire all members of the state's Environmental Management Commission (EMC), a rule-making body established in 1973 during the administration of Republican Governor James B. Holshouser, Jr. The following statement may be attributed to Jane Preyer, director of the North Carolina office of Environmental Defense Fund:
"Most of us don't realize the daily impact that the EMC has on our lives. We turn on a faucet, and clean water comes out. We go for a walk and breathe fresh air. That's because the EMC developed the rules to limit toxic pollution in our water and air.
"The EMC deals with critical issues that affect the health of our families, businesses and communities. It's difficult to imagine how firing an entire commission and losing that expertise and institutional knowledge will help our state be a better place to live and work."
The new budget decreases the number of commissioners from 19 to 15, gives the General Assembly more control over appointments, changes the qualifications for members and weakens conflict of interest provisions. Current EMC members will lose their positions on July 31.