Memo: DEQ Secretary's statement on the conference budget

Raleigh

To: Interested Parties
From: Sharon Martin, Communications Director
Date:  June 26, 2019
Re:  DEQ Secretary statement on the conference budget

After a careful review of the conference budget, DEQ finds the budget does not adequately address the needs of the department to protect the air, water, and land quality of the state.

“This budget does not allow DEQ to keep pace with the demands of a growing economy or the critical water quality issues facing North Carolina. The lack of funding negatively impacts the communities dealing with PFAS contamination and aging water infrastructure. It asks them to go without necessary resources,” said DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan  

  • On Emerging Compounds, the budget funds 5 of the 37 positions requested by DEQ. However, it specifies that two of those positions are for permitting and one is administrative, leaving only two positions for PFAS analysis and related duties. The continued delay in providing adequate resources puts DEQ behind in responding to this growing threat.
  • On Water Infrastructure, DEQ has identified $17-22 billion worth of water infrastructure need. The budget includes $11 million in funding earmarked for specific projects prioritized by the legislature, not by the State Water Infrastructure Authority.
  • On the general permits for animal operations, the budget delays implementation until December of 2020 and requires an additional study.  The permit updates targeted by this budget are not new rules or regulations. They are part of the permit-writing process which is well within DEQ’s authority.

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