In a new, monthly email update, we are offering a way to hear about the federation’s policy work and get the inside scoop on the North Carolina General Assembly. The federation’s policy priorities for legislators this year include increased investment in oyster restoration, support for removing lost fishing gear from coastal waters and efficient and effective protection of the coastal environment.
All of the updates will also be available on our website at nccoast.org/raleighreport.
In other news, Gov. Cooper recently announced Michael Regan as his choice to head the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Regan is a North Carolina native who previously worked for the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Environmental Defense Fund. Under a new law approved before Cooper took office, Regan and all of Cooper’s other secretarial appointments — notwithstanding legal challenges — are now subject to approval by the legislature. Exactly how this approval will be conducted, and how long it will take, is still unknown. In the meantime, Regan will begin overseeing the department this month and will continue to do so unless the legislature formally rejects his appointment.
The General Assembly kicked off its 2017 term with a one-day session on Jan. 11, where it appointed committees and officials. The legislature will reconvene on a weekly basis beginning Jan. 25, so it seems unlikely that legislators will take up Regan’s appointment before February. In the interim, Cooper has asked former DEQ Secretary Bill Ross — who headed the agency during the Perdue Administration — to be acting secretary. In the meantime, Regan will begin overseeing the DEQ this month and will continue to do so unless the legislature formally rejects his appointment.
The federation is a strong voice for the coast at the local, state and federal level — we hope you will join our efforts. Start by subscribing to the Raleigh Report today.