Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission (URRC) dissolved

Two lines on page 268 of the 394-page state budget (SB 402) terminated the Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission (URRC).

REPEAL UWHARRIE REGIONAL RESOURCES ACT
          SECTION 15.1A.  Chapter 153C of the General Statutes is repealed.

Both chambers of the NC General Assembly have passed and ratified the bill, which has been sent to Gov. McCrory for his signature.  The lone Republican Senator who voted against the bill was Fletcher Hartsell (Cabarrus County), sponsor of the Uwharrie Regional Resources Act (URRA) in 2010.

The controversial URRC was created in the end-of-session bustle of the 2010 legislative session, behind closed doors, with no debate or comment from the public, by what is commonly referred to as “rewrite by moonlight.”  HB 972, which was introduced as a bill to create a Boone water intake, had already passed its second and third readings in the House.  A Senate substitute was introduced on 7/8/2010 which completely eliminated the previous bill content and substituted the measure to create the Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission.  After non-concurrence by the House, provisions to enable the new commission to “monitor federal activities involving important regional resources” and “to seek enforcement of environmental laws and contribution to environmental cleanup costs” were eliminated from the bill, which then passed on 7/9/2010, before the Assembly adjourned on 7/10/2010.  The enabling legislation gave all appearances of not having anything to do with relicensing the Alcoa Yadkin Project.  However, appointments to the Commission and agendas were heavily stacked in favor of state takeover proponents.  During 2013, the Commission:

  • Served as a platform to present a biased study by Central Park NC paid for by a grant from the U. S. Department of Commerce as well as $20,000 from the URRC.
  • Served as a platform to present an inaccurate study done under legislation sponsored by Sen. Fletcher Hartsell by the Program Evaluation Division of the General Assembly on submerged lands under navigable waters.
  • Passed a resolution calling for the delay of issuing a 401 Water Quality Certificate until various state Departments had determined Yadkin riverbed ownership.
  • Played an oblique role in filings by New Energy Capital to FERC.  (The passage of the URRA in 2010 was cited by New Energy as a justification for late intervention, and the URRC was cited by New Energy as a possible state agency to submit an alternate Yadkin Project license application to FERC.)

Numerous citizens of the area, disenfranchised by the makeup of the Commission, have attended all URRC meetings.

Article in Lexington Dispatch 

 

Views: 384

Tags: URRC, Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission

Comment by Ann on July 26, 2013 at 12:27am

Max Walser and Dean Naujoks are putting out some BS about this.  The fact is that no one from the covered region ever asked for a regional commission, it was something Fletcher Hartsell thrust upon us.  It was an abrogation of democratic principles and an abuse of power.  No state board or commission should ever be composed almost exclusively of a special interest group, i.e., Roger Dick and friends.  The only two things the URRC ever did which didn't involve opposing Alcoa's relicensing were things I requested.  Despite repeated complaints, four of their meetings were held in rooms which didn't provide enough seating for the public, with the members of the Commission sitting around a conference table and members of the public looking at their backs.  We couldn't tell who was talking, we couldn't hear what was being said.  The last meeting was held in a room which was not accessible to persons with disabilities.  Also despite repeated complaints, most of their meetings were followed by private dinners which violated the open meeting statute.

This could have been a commission which was beneficial to this region, but the reality was it wasn't.

 

Comment by CRY ME A RIVER OF OPPORTUNITIE$ on July 26, 2013 at 8:10am

Ann, thanks for all you've done to advocate for common-sense remedial efforts by all stakeholders to hold Alcoa to good stewardship standards, while preventing the socialist-style State takeover attempts by he URRC and the various nonprofit entities who spread the "Alcoa is Evil" theology!

Comment by another David on July 26, 2013 at 9:02am

Good riddance.

Comment by flowerchild on July 26, 2013 at 1:43pm

The URRC was bad government.

Comment by Don K. Hauté on July 26, 2013 at 3:14pm

Gov. McCrory has signed the budget.  The URRC is history!

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/politics&id=9186319

Comment by CRY ME A RIVER OF OPPORTUNITIE$ on July 26, 2013 at 7:31pm

The usual suspects are crying 'foul' in the news media already.  It is hilarious to read their articles, emails, blog comments and letters to the editor.  A very nice $#*! stain on the State's history is the legacy left by a commission that promised jobs, but only delivered rhetoric.

Comment by Stop Global Whining on May 25, 2014 at 8:23pm

http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/search/CorpFilings/10311331

I see that Fletcher Hartsell filed a reservation of the corporate name, "Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission" last August.  But the WorldWide Web is devoid of any news since then.  Given the recent death of Keith Crisco, I'm thinking no one currently needs it, in order to serve their political needs.  So will the URRC be relegated to the ash-heap of self-aggrandizing history?

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