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Headline Roundup: EPA Faults NC's Reporting, McCrory Mishandles Ethics Filing, More

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds that North Carolina is failing to maintain an accurate list of polluted waters. The agency has added more than 50 segments of state streams, rivers, and lakes to the list, which North Carolina regulators are required to submit to the EPA every two years. Altogether, about 1,200 are on the list. 

In a letter to state regulators, the EPA says the state uses a flawed methodology, requires too many tests and fails to recognize overwhelming evidence of pollution. Currently to earn the impaired label, North Carolina requires three out of ten water tests to show a pollutant. The EPA says regulators should have listed all waters that failed three tests as impaired. North Carolina only included ones where a full ten tests had been completed. 

McCrory Mishandled Ethics Filings
Governor Pat McCrory mishandled ethics filings, failing to show he still owned stock in Duke Energy and Spectra Energy, a spin-off, until earlier this year. 

The governor sold the stock this year, after his ties to Duke - where he worked for nearly three decades - and a massive Duke Energy spill of coal ash into the Dan River in February drew criticism. But in filings with the state ethics commission, the governor reported selling his stock before December 31, of last year. 

In a statement, McCrory says an attorney made a mistake filling out the ethics form.

The governor is not required to disclose how much Duke stock he owned, other than that it was more than $10,000 worth. 

North Carolina lawmakers return to the state capitol today. The Senate convened briefly this morning and returns tonight to take up an adjournment resolution, and the House meets this afternoon. 

The legislature remains technically in-session, after the two chambers could not come to an agreement on several bills. Those include Medicaid reform, environmental management of coal ash, economic development, and regulatory reform bills.

The House and Senate also could not agree on an adjournment resolution, meaning they technically stay in session. While in session, lawmakers cannot receive campaign contributions from lobbyists, political action committees, or anyone with business still before the General Assembly.

A spokesman for Senate leader Phil Berger says he wants the House to agree to the Senate’s terms for adjournment, meaning stopping work until November, and then re-convening for a special session on Medicaid reform and coal ash mitigation in November.