Changes in Environmental Protection in North Carolina: Are We in Danger of Losing Critical Safeguards for our Water Quality?
A panel of former employees of the N.C. Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will talk about protecting water quality and discuss changes in DENR that degrade the agency’s ability to provide essential protection of our clean water resources.
The panel includes:
Amy Adams: Ms. Adams was employed by DENR as the Washington Regional Office Supervisor for Surface Water Protection Section. She left DENR in 2013 in response to a shift in priorities by the agency and severe cuts in water quality staff. In Dec. 2013, she wrote an op-ed (http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/12/15/3457917/soul-crushing-takeover-of-nc-denr.html) explaining why she felt compelled to leave the agency despite her passion for the work. She is currently the North Carolina Campaign Coordinator for the Boone-based Appalachian Voices, an environmental nonprofit that helps give voice to people who care about our natural heritage.
George Matthis: Mr. Matthis served 33 years in numerous technical and managerial positions with DENR before retiring in 2011. He served as executive director for the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation before co-founding the River Guardian Foundation. In response to Amy Adams’ op-ed, George wrote a letter to the editor asking, “How many more employees of her caliber will be forced to leave because they are required to compromise their morals and ethics? Who will be left to protect the environment and public health on a regulatory level?”
Mr. Dorney has won national awards for his innovative work in preserving wetlands, including the Environmental Law Institute National Wetlands Award and is employed by a private engineering/environmental firm in Raleigh. He served for decades as Director of the Program Development Unit, funded by EPA grants intended to integrate updated science into regulatory programs, and retired from DENR in 2011. When asked about recent decisions by DENR to reject EPA grants to study fracking regulation and wetlands monitoring, he said, “We were the leader in the Southeast, and really nationally. I’m afraid that’s all going to be gone. How can you improve these programs without the benefit of science?”
4505 S Alston Ave
Durham, NC 27713
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