SCSJ condemns veto override of environmental protections 

Environmental Justice

DURHAM – Southern Coalition for Social Justice condemns the North Carolina General Assembly’s irresponsible decision to override Governor Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 582, or the Farm Act. 

The bill, introduced in early April, would lift protections for more than two million acres of wetlands across the state. Unprotected, these wetlands would be open for development, leaving the surrounding areas vulnerable to poor water quality as well as more severe flooding. 

“This is not just about protecting natural environments for their own sake,” said Anne Harvey, Chief Counsel for Environmental Justice at SCSJ. “This is about protecting vulnerable communities from the devastating effects of flooding and ensuring their future. Our state has already allocated millions of dollars to prevent flooding like we saw during Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence- but bills like SB 582 undo all the good that money could do. Authorizing unchecked development in wetlands and floodplains is a recipe for disaster. This bill threatens not only coastal areas at risk from hurricanes, but inland areas already prone to stormwater flooding will be harmed as well.” 

As the climate crisis continues to bring powerful storms and increased precipitation to our state, we must continue the fight for justice and protection for our most vulnerable communities. We thank Governor Cooper for the wisdom of his veto and call upon the legislature to remember that real people and lives are deeply affected by the policy decisions made at the General Assembly. 


The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color  
and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications. Learn more at and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.