Friday, May 11, 2007

Environmental and Energy Efficiency 5-11-07

This budget fully funds the Clean Water Management Trust Fund at $100 million, helping to protect the state's greatest natural resource. For the first time in years, substantial funding ($8 million) is proposed for farmland preservation. North Carolina is losing farmland at the fastest rate in the US, and this money will also help leverage additional federal farmland preservation funding. It also adds funding for a top issue for environmentalists for the past several sessions - additional inspections for sedimentation and erosion control. Sediment is the biggest water quality problem in the state.

The House proposal also sets aside $10 million so that state buildings can adopt energy efficient measures, which are expected to help save money in the future, and wean us off of fossil fuel based energy. There is some funding for the state energy office and its good work promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency across the state.

The budget sets aside $2 million so that the state can continue working on ways to improve treatment of hog waste. There is also funding for notification and testing of well water and for emergency drinking water supplies for lower wealth citizens with contaminated wells.

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