Shock: State returns EPA grant money — North Carolina says it doesn’t want $580K to study fracking, wetlands

The Charlotte Observer reports:

North Carolina’s environment agency has taken the unusual step of returning a federal grant to study streams and wetlands that could be harmed by hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources had itself recommended last year that baseline water-quality data be collected where drilling might occur. The information would help document any problems linked to drilling.

But under new leadership appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory, the department now says it doesn’t want the $222,595 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The department also returned a second grant of $359,710 for wetlands monitoring.

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6 responses to “Shock: State returns EPA grant money — North Carolina says it doesn’t want $580K to study fracking, wetlands

  1. The “free lunch” would be OK, but NC doesn’t want to sleep with the donor. Good for them!

  2. It’s a fair bet that the EPA would claim the studies showed development would be too harmful to permit, regardless of the data.

  3. And all the recipients of the wisdom from NCDENR are celebrating in streets. Getting a really simple permit from these folks takes major efforts sometime.

  4. Given the description of the grants, I cannot help but think that the conclusions of the study had already been written and that the “research” was to back up the predetermined conclusion

  5. It’s a great gesture, but I would keep the money and submit reports like: “The wetlands are still here (monitoring to continue).”
    and:
    “Still looking up ‘Fracking’ on Google. Interesting Wiki entry about Battlestar Galactica.”

  6. Rejecting this grant for monitoring the hydraulic fracturing wells doesn’t make sense because under state law, the wells have to be monitored by the North Carolina division of environmental protection but now will have with state money said a federal dollars. Here in North Carolina, this action is being seen as a way for oil and gas drillers to circumvent the much tougher federal EPA regulations in favor of a more pro-business or “customer friendly” approach the Republican controlled legislature is pushing for these days.

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