Charlotte Women’s March Environmental Committee meets the second Thursday of each month (beginning June 8th); 6:00pm; 8430 University Executive Park Drive, Suite 685, in the office of Nephrology and Hypertension Consultants. Please respond to Tina Maguylo at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan on attending so we have a head count for treats.
Environmental Concerns/Legislative Actions:
Water quality safeguards are being threatened by two NC Senate Bills, S131 and S434. The NC House has yet to act on these two bills so now is the time to contact your elected officials!
- Section 3.13 of Senate Bill 131 would allow developers to damage up to 300ft (from the current threshold of 150ft) of our precious North Carolina streams, one of our first lines of defense to filter out pollution and to stop potentially deadly flooding. This is unacceptable. Our streams must be safeguarded from this “Floodgate” provision created by the NC Senate. NC House leaders can remove this harmful section in their committee today. Urge your North Carolina representative to protect your water quality and your community by removing Section 3.13 now!
- S434 would repeal the 50-foot protective buffer along more than 1,000 miles of shoreline along the Catawba River and its lakes in North Carolina. Among its eight pages of provisions, S434 also prevents local municipalities from enacting buffer protections on streams. This could affect active local buffers in counties like Mecklenburg. Current state law allows local municipalities to enact buffers if they are scientifically defensible. S434 would eliminate this option.
A comprehensive review of buffers, including citations, is available here. NC DEQ information on buffers is available here. For an excellent article on what buffer protection means for us locally reference this article by the Catawba RiverKeeper .
Local Government Budget Season
Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte are in the final stages of adopting their 2018 budgets. This is your opportunity to speak out for the protection of our environment, open spaces and advocate for STEM Education! Budgets are complicated so here are some suggestions for advocacy as you reach out to your local elected officials or chose to speak at a public meeting:
- Charlotte City Council – Both operating and Capital Improvement Projects recommended in the Charlotte Water budget can help us protect our water resources. Did you know that the Water Supply Master Plan indicates that we may be out of water by 2050? Charlotte Water’s proposed budget should be fully funded to help us protect this water resource! Additionally, the Charlotte Capital Improvement Projects include continued funding for the Cross Charlotte Trail, a vital resource to protecting our open spaces while providing a community tool for improving our health. The last public hearing before a budget vote is May 22nd at 5pm so contact your elected officials today!
- Mecklenburg County Commissioners – Mecklenburg County is responsible for protecting our environmental health through the services of Park and Recreation and the Land Use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA). The State of the Environment Report, issued by LUESA biennially, indicates that supporting our air quality, water quality and land protection programs is critical to preserving our local quality of life. We advocate for fully funding of the proposed budgets from LUESA and Park and Recreation. Additionally, the community need for park spaces continues to increase as our community grows and prospers so emphasis on completion of County parks as approved in the 2008 bonds is a priority. Complete funding of the Park and Recreation proposed 5-year Capital Improvement Plan may not be possible but an additional $40 million would cover those projects the community approved in the 2008 bond package and we hope you will advocate for this today! The last public hearing before a budget vote is June 5th at 6pm!