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DEQ Secretary Asks Trump to Curb EPA

An earlier version of this article said that the Supreme Court and a lower court upheld the clean power plan and the Waters of the United States rules. This story has been corrected to say that the rules were stayed, not upheld. 

This story, originally published Nov. 17, has also been updated to reflect reactions from environmental advocates.

Environmental organizations have denounced a letter environmental officials from five states, including North Carolina’s Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality Donald van der Vaart, sent to President-elect Donald Trump last week asking him to cut down the the federal government’s ability to regulate the environment and restore it back to state control.

In the original letter, the officials blast the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it has “run out of control.”

“The EPA has systematically taken discretion away from the states and has become a symbol of federal overreach,” the letter states.

Additionally, the officials say they would like to a moratorium placed on the federal clean power plan and the Waters of the United States rules. The letter states these are also examples of federal overreach that hamper economic growth. The officials ask Trump to review the regulations, adding that the U.S. Supreme Court and a lower court stayed the clean power plan and the Waters of the United States rules, respectively.

State officials also said would like for more of the responsibility of environmental regulatory and enforcement power be given to the states.

In addition to van der Vaart, representatives of Alabama, Nebraska, North Dakota and West Virginia’s environmental agencies signed the letter.

On Monday, a coalition of environmental organizations responded to the letter with a statement of their own saying that van der Vaart “does not represent the views of the environmental advocates or experts in North Carolina.”

The statement is supported by 10 environmental organizations including the N.C. Conservation Network, the Southern Environmental Law Center and three Riverkeeper associations.

The organizations also say that the McCrory administration has repeatedly cut environmental regulations and that the N.C. environmental community stands united against such actions.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.