"State lawmakers who have been cutting environmental regulations in their quest for to streamline government have a new target: cutting the number of air quality monitors around the state.
That provision is in a wide-ranging regulatory overhaul bill that has cleared the Senate and is headed to the House. SB734 would make state environmental regulators get rid of any ambient air monitors that federal law doesn’t require – a big concern to the neighbors of some high-profile locations that could lose their monitors, such as:
• The one set up on Blackstone Drive in Sanford to help monitor pollution from potential fracking operations in Lee County.
• The device at the sulfur smelting plant at Bayview Ferry on the Pamlico River in Bath, where neighbors have long complained of the odor.
• The monitor across the street from a proposed massive coal-fired cement plant in Castle Hayne in New Hanover County that community activists and environmentalists have been fighting for six years. The plant is not far from two new schools and next to the Northeast Cape Fear River."