And so are all the rest of us:
Ignorance is bliss, until you choke on it. In 2012, North Carolina’s legislature was the butt of jokes nationally as it considered legislation that would have, essentially, outlawed the rising of the oceans. Now the honorables in Raleigh are going down a similar path, again hoping that if they cover their eyes and ears they can make unpleasant things – like polluted air – go away.
Tucked inside a 65-page bill called the Regulatory Reform Act (Senate Bill 734) is one sentence that requires the state to eliminate the majority of its 132 air-quality monitors. A DENR spokesman says the department is “baffled” by the legislation.
The monitors provide valuable data about a region’s air quality and help regulators predict where problems will worsen. And the legislature’s move comes just as the EPA announces stricter emissions standards, precisely the wrong time to do it.
And with that last observation the author has likely hit on the key reason for removing the monitors. The EPA relies on state agencies to both implement and monitor compliance of Federal rules, and the current General Assembly is doing everything it can to sever that critical relationship. Without the monitors, the EPA's hands are tied to a certain extent, and the health of North Carolinians is not nearly as important as thumbing their nose at the feds.