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Posted Thu Sep 26 2013: from Charlotte Observer:
North Carolina rejects $600,000 in grants to study fracking impact
North Carolina's environment agency has taken the unusual step of returning a federal grant to study streams and wetlands that could be harmed by hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources had itself recommended last year that baseline water-quality data be collected where drilling might occur. The information would help document any problems linked to drilling. But under new leadership appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory, the department now says it doesn't want the $222,595 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The department also returned a second grant of $359,710 for wetlands monitoring. Division of Water Resources director Tom Reeder said the fracking study will be done, but not now and not by the unit that applied for the grant. The Program Development Unit, which housed experts in aquatic ecosystems, is being disbanded in a reorganization of the division.... "This is not a grant being imposed on North Carolina by a federal agency that doesn't really know what we need," she said. "This was a grant being sought by DENR to meet known challenges." Diggins added: "It raises the concern of whether this is part of a trend of backing away from science."
[Read more stories about: governmental corruption, fracking, short-term thinking, water issues, wetlands]
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