What good is being Secretary of Destroying the Environment if you can't use your position to advance your own interests?
In just five months this winter, the McCrory administration rewrote those [river and stream buffer] rules with the help of private companies that had a financial stake in the outcome – including the company where state Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary John Skvarla once worked.
Yes, five years in the making, river and stream buffer rules were protecting our water quality. John Skvarla and DAG McCrony weren't about to stand for that. So they got a group of 7 people together and rewrote the rules in secret. In case you were wondering whether the 7 people consisted entirely of environmental exploitation profiteers and industry-biased government employees, the answer is (SURPRISE!) yes.
The stakeholders who were involved were representatives of three mitigation banking firms – companies that help developers offset environmental damage by restoring or enhancing land elsewhere through the use of credits: [Skvarla's] Restoration Systems, Wildlands Engineering and Environmental Banc & Exchange.
Also in the group was PCS Phosphate, a mining company, two representatives from DENR and an official with the state Department of Transportation.
These proposed new regulations, set to be passed by the NC House, at least went out for public review, right? Hahaha, no, remember that we're dealing with the McCronies.
“I didn’t even know they had met or issued a report,” said Heather Jacobs Deck, riverkeeper with the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, who was involved with the original rules. “That was a shock. We had no idea."
The public trough feeders assure us that the changes are only technical. So what's the net effect of these changes?
The new rules give mitigation companies [like Skvarla's] new ways to make money.
It seems that the feds who empaneled a grand jury to investigate DENR's coziness with industry might want to have a look into this matter. Assuming they're wearing sufficient protection from the slime, of course.