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JOINT STATEMENT: Advocacy Groups Call on Governor Cooper to Veto SB711

For Immediate Release
Friday, June 15, 2018

Raleigh, N.C. – Following the North Carolina General Assembly’s rushed passage of SB 711, which would strip rural North Carolinians of their constitutional right to seek justice in the courts against those who pollute their air and water, advocacy groups Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Public Justice, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, and Waterkeeper Alliance issued the following statement:

“We call on Governor Cooper to continue his record as a champion of all North Carolinians – and especially those who call the rural communities of our state home – by standing with our state’s citizens and against those contaminating our air and water, by vetoing SB 711. The coalition of legislators who have tenaciously and heroically fought this dangerous bill, and stood with families and communities as they take on these polluters, must also stand with the Governor and sustain the veto.

“The proponents of this bill have tried to mislead politicians and the public into thinking it is a referendum on support for North Carolina’s agricultural industry. That’s not true. The people of North Carolina have long welcomed, worked for and promoted safe and responsible agriculture in our state. This bill is not about pulling back the welcome mat for those who are good neighbors; it is about providing legal immunity to those who are robbing their neighbors of the right to enjoy the open air, clean water and beautiful land that we value in North Carolina. We shouldn’t be rewarding those who are polluting our state and harming our neighbors. We should be looking out for North Carolina workers and families who call this state home. By vetoing this bill, Governor Cooper can send a strong message that, while North Carolina remains open for business, it also remains a place where quality of life and access to abundant and clean water and air is a priority. We must not allow irresponsible actors to taint our natural resources or our state’s reputation as a place that puts its people first. These are values all North Carolinians hold dear.”

Media Contacts:

Center for Biological Diversity: HConnor@biologicaldiversity.org; 202-681-1676
Food & Water Watch: Krissy Kasserman, kkaserman@fwwatch.org; 919-794-6381
Public Justice: Jessica Culpepper, jculpepper@publicjustice.net
Socially Responsible Agricultural Project: Danielle Diamond, danielled@sraproject.org
Waterkeeper Alliance: Will Hendrick, whendrick@waterkeeper.org