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.