“RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper made public Tuesday a $14.5 million budget proposal to bolster the state’s efforts to address emerging contaminants, meaning funding the state’s environmental and health agencies will be at the center of yet another legislative session.

‘Our administration has taken strong action to hold polluters accountable,’ Cooper stated in the release, ‘but we need meaningful investments in water testing, permitting and scientific analysis to protect our environment statewide.’

Cooper’s budget request included an additional $13.9 million in funding for DEQ, with $7 million used to enhance water quality and sampling efforts, $4.4 million to digitize the department’s industrial permitting system, $1.5 million to upgrade lab facilities and $1 million to purchase equipment and staff to conduct testing. Additionally, the request called for $536,000 to staff experts at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Phil Berger, the president pro tempore of the N.C. Senate, blasted Tuesday’s proposal…

Cooper’s proposal comes days after DEQ issued a 60-day notice informing Chemours it plans to modify the company’s air quality permit to either ban or restrict GenX emissions. That action was followed Monday in Bladen County Superior Court by the N.C. Attorney General’s Office seeking an injunction on behalf of DEQ to force Chemours to strongly limit or due away entirely with GenX in the air.

Additionally, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority reported for the first time this week since regular testing began that GenX levels in its drinking water have dropped into single-digit parts per trillion (ppt), with levels recorded at nine ppt on March 20 and seven ppt on March 26.”

Read the full article by Adam Wagner.