COOPER WANTS MORE FUNDING FOR DEQ TO ADDRESS GENX CHALLENGES: Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that he plans to include $14.5 million in his recommended budget to address health and safety threats posed by GenX and other emerging contaminants. "Protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe is critical, and my budget recommendations will give state agencies the tools they need to continue keeping North Carolina families healthy," Cooper said in a statement. "Our administration has taken strong action to hold polluters accountable, but we need meaningful investments in water testing, permitting and scientific analysis to protect our environment statewide." Cooper last year sought $2.6 million for the state Department of Environmental Quality and the state Department of Health and Human Services to study GenX and its long-term health effects, but lawmakers provided only $435,000 to the local water authority in Wilmington and scientists at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington studying GenX.
DEQ LAWSUIT ACCUSES DUPONT/CHEMOURS OF LYING ABOUT GENX FOR YEARS: The agency said that Chemours and its predecessor DuPont have lied about discharging GenX for decades into the Cape Fear River. DuPont spun off Chemours in 2015. “Despite knowledge of health risks associated with GenX, Chemours failed to disclose the presence of GenX in its process wastewater, and even made statements that misled DEQ as to the presence of GenX,” the environmental agency said in the lawsuit. The suit was filed last fall in Bladen County, where the plant is located. The agency said it continues to detect concentrations of GenX in the water being discharged by the Fayetteville-area factory that employs about 900 workers. The chemical “has also caused significant and widespread groundwater contamination,” and falls to the ground in rainwater miles away from the plant “at levels that far exceed emission rates previously reported to DEQ,” the court filing said.
BLACK NC CONSERVATIVES "DIAMOND" AND "SILK" COMPLAIN ABOUT FACEBOOK BIAS: Popular social media personalities Diamond and Silk — black sisters from North Carolina who proudly support President Donald Trump — say that Facebook has deemed their content “unsafe to the community” and is limiting access to their million-plus followers. The sisters said that they have been corresponding with Facebook since September about “bias censorship and discrimination,” alleging that Facebook is not sending notifications of new content to people who like or follow their page. “How are we and our content and our brand unsafe for the community? We don’t sell drugs. We not laying out in the streets. We not no thugs. We don’t belong to no gang, so how are we unsafe to the community?” said Hardaway during an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
SOME DAYS THE BEAR EATS YOU: COOPER LOSES THREE COURT CHALLENGES AGAINST GOP: State lawmakers notched a series of wins Monday in their ongoing power struggle with Gov. Roy Cooper. Judges ruled that lawmakers have the authority to expand the Opportunity Scholarships private school voucher program, whittle down the state Court of Appeals and control spending from federal block grants and legal settlements. lawmakers passed a measure over Cooper's veto to cut the size of the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12. The court would be winnowed down as judges reach retirement age in the next few years. Still, his attorneys argued that eliminating positions on the court interferes with a governor's authority to fill vacancies on the bench and that lawmakers violated the constitution by cutting short judges' eight-year terms on the appeals court. Again by a 2-1 margin, the judges ruled the General Assembly has the power to set the size of the court and that the governor was conflating the office with the office holder in arguing over the length of a judge's term.
TRUMP TAUNTS RUSSIA IN TWEET ABOUT PENDING MISSILE ATTACK: Defying Russian warnings against U.S. military strikes in Syria, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that missiles "will be coming" in response to Syria's suspected chemical attack that killed at least 40 people. "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria," Trump tweeted. "Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" Trump did not detail what a strike would look like, or whether these would be U.S. missiles. The tweet came as Trump administration officials have consulted with global allies on a possible joint military response to Syria's alleged poison gas attack. Trump canceled a foreign trip in order to manage a crisis that is testing his vow to stand up to Syrian President Bashar Assad.