NC’s General Assembly Makes Storm Aftermath Cleanup a Little Easier
In a rare, completed dawn to dark imitative, the North Carolina General Assembly passed, and Governor Bev Perdue signed a special bill that will allow burning of storm related debris from now until June 1st, 2011. NC’s 85th District Representative Mitch Gillespie debated the bill on the House floor:
“What it’s going to do is allow and expedite clean up of storm related debris from the result of the tornado and flooding and the severe winds that we had on April 16th. What it does is it’s going to exempt farmers and landowners from having to follow the regulations that are in place on burning and burying of this debris.”
While the legislation, instigated by NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is focused on farm clean up, anyone can apply for a permit.
Director of Public Affairs for North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Brian Long:
“We think that this legislation will go a long way in speeding up this process.”
Representative Gillespie argues that farmers will act responsibly:
“These farmers are very responsible stewards of the land, they know what land is, they’re not going to damage their farms in any way by doing anything that’s wrong to the environment or anything. They’re going to act responsibly.”
Long explains why time is of the essence for the clean up efforts:
“We’re getting into what is traditionally the prime planting season in North Carolina. so many crops go start to go into the ground in mid to late April, early May, and you don’t want to delay that if you can help it. In many cases the fields are covered with bits of buildings and miscellaneous materials that have been tossed around by this storm. so you’ve got to get those fields cleaned up before you can get in there and begin planting. For so many of these farmers if they don’t have a crop, they don’t have a livelihood.”
NC Department of Corrections Inmates have been temporarily moved to Bertie County to help with debris removal from fields. A burning permit from local authorities is still advised.