NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The North Carolina General Assembly Thursday approved final passage of HB 56, legislation that included two of the county’s top legislative priorities: providing local assistance to address the GenX situation and creating a recurring state fund to support Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR).
“We appreciate the leadership of our local legislators to secure support statewide for two programs that are key to the health of our citizens and the economy of southeastern North Carolina,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White.
The legislation includes funding for both the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority for research and filtration testing. The bill is the first step taken by the legislature to enact legislation to assist the region in addressing the presence of GenX in the Cape Fear River. “It puts the money on the ground at the front lines of this issue,” said Chairman White. “It is funding the problem immediately, today, as quickly as possible.”
Provisions establishing a statewide Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund were included in the legislation to provide funding to support beach nourishment and damage mitigation. New Hanover County’s beaches rely on federal, state, and local dollars to keep sand on the beach and to fuel our local economy. A report completed by the state legislature in 2016, at the request of New Hanover County leaders, demonstrated that direct expenditures generated by the beaches and inlets in North Carolina amounts to $2.5 billion. When indirect expenditures are added in, this figure increases to $6.1 billion and nearly 65,000 jobs. information about the Beach and Inlet Management Plan can be found here.
The measure also included provisions impacting solid waste that are going to need additional consideration.