N.C. Senate regulatory bill ‘boggles the mind,’ increases flood risk

HB3 is misguided effort that benefits developers and threatens safety of rural residents

December 15, 2016
Georgette Foster, (919) 881-2927, gfoster@edf.org

(RALEIGH, NC – Dec. 15, 2016) On the heels of a special legislative session on disaster relief for flood victims, the North Carolina House yesterday introduced HB3,Regulatory Reform Act of 2016, a bill that will increase the risk of future flooding by giving developers a ticket to destroy more streams. The bill would change state law to allow up to 300 feet of a stream to be damaged before restoration is required. Most at risk of flooding will be rural communities downstream of growing urban centers.

 “It boggles the mind that lawmakers returned to Raleigh to fund disaster relief for flood and wildfire victims, and then quickly introduced a bill that sets the stage for even worse flooding in the future,” said Will McDow, director of habitat markets at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Raleigh, N.C., office. “This bill will give developers a free ride to destroy more streams and increase the risk of flooding in communities that are still struggling from flood damage.”

North Carolina’s urban counties enjoy robust economic development, but storm water from new construction flows downhill toward rural communities. EDF is working with the mitigation industry and the state’s Department of Mitigation Services to ensure more efficient and effective mitigation.

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