$3 Billion for roads but only $1.3 Million for contaminated water

On the plus side, when you drive to the store for bottled water, the ride will be smooth:

A method to accelerate local and regional road-building projects in North Carolina by authorizing up to $3 billion in debt has made it through the General Assembly.

The legislation that permits the borrowing is heading to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's desk following Tuesday's House vote of 94-21. Cooper is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Senate unanimously last week and would represent a rare moment of bipartisanship between the executive and legislative branches.

There's little doubt we need to spend more money on our roads, but we should also dedicate a healthy chunk of that to alternative forms of transportation, like buses and trains, and even bicycle-friendly roadways. But when you have billion-dollar private industries contaminating our fresh water resources, and developing new chemical compounds faster than we can try to pronounce their titles, regaining control of that situation is a government imperative. We need to see some bi-partisan movement on that a hell of a lot more than we need cooperation on road building and maintenance. And low-balling DEQ on their desperately needed equipment is a recipe for disaster:

The department would also receive $537,000 for a specific type of high-resolution mass spectrometer. During initial budget presentations on Tuesday, budget writers said the intent was to limit use of the machine to PFAS and GenX. DEQ officials have asked for greater flexibility in using the funds as the technology and types of machines available change.

That may sound like a lot of money, but the high-res (gas chromatograph) mass spec they really need is over 3 times that much money, and the software upgrades that will inevitably follow just adds to that. And why (in the name of all that's holy) would the General Assembly want to limit the use of that technology to the GENX family of contaminants, when there are hundreds of others being used around the state, many of which we don't even know about, or have any data on toxicity or interaction with other chemicals & naturally-occurring elements.

What we don't know could fill a damn library, but Republicans (apparently) would rather keep us ignorant. The only answer for that is, they are protecting the profits of polluters while throwing our health concerns to the wind.

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