NC lawmakers approve sweeping regulations bill

NC lawmakers pass GOP-backed bill that eases landfill restrictions and environmental rules

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina House has approved a Republican-backed regulatory overhaul that relaxes rules for landfills and trucks hauling trash, makes it harder for local governments to enact environmental ordinances and fires the state Environmental Management Commission.

The bill passed Friday in the waning hours of the legislative session includes 68 pages of wide-ranging provisions. They include requiring all hotels to install carbon monoxide detectors in each room, following three poisoning deaths in the same Boone motel room.

Another provision would prevent cities and counties from requiring contractors to pay more than minimum wage or provide employees sick leave to get government business. Durham has had so-called living-wage requirements for its contractors since 1998.

Speaking to the media shortly after adjournment, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said he was still studying the bill's numerous provisions but that some gave him concerns. One is a measure allowing the state to increase the visibility of roadside billboards by cutting down more trees. McCrory said he would issue an executive order directing the N.C. Department of Transportation to get prior approval from city and county officials before engaging in any clear-cutting.

He said he would also study the implications of the bill's new provisions on where and how landfills are permitted.

The Republican governor said he has not yet made up his mind about whether to veto the bill or sign it. If he does neither, the measure becomes law automatically in 30 days.

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Follow Associated Press reporter Michael Biesecker twitter.com/mbieseck

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