The North Carolina General Assembly
voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of House Bill 56, which
includes a repeal of the plastic bag ban on the Outer Banks.
The veto override
came on Wednesday during a special 2-3 day session of the General
Assembly. The House voted 70-44 to pass HB 56, and the Senate later
voted 30-9 to also approve the veto override.
The bill now becomes law.
House Bill 56 was brought back to life
in August with the addition of a more prominent plan to give $435,000
out of a requested $2.6 million to the Cape Fear Public Utility
Authority and UNCW to deal with a pollutant called GenX, which was
recently identified in the Cape Fear River waters.
The Plastic Bag Ban Repeal takes up
just one line of House Bill 56, and reads “SECTION 10.(a) Part 2G
of Article 9 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes.”
The 2009 plastic bag repeal ban was the
brainchild of then-Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight of Dare
County as a way to cut down on litter, as well as the deaths of
offshore sea turtles. The ban required stores to use paper bags, and
also to provide a $.05 refund per bag for customers who bring their
own reusable bags to an individual store.
Local organizations including the Dare
County Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the Outer Banks Chamber of
Commerce have both publicly spoken out against repealing the ban.
The bill was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper
on September 21 who noted in a statement that the bill “…gives
the impression of action while allowing the long-term problem to
fester. And it unnecessarily rolls back other environmental
protections for landfills, river basins, and our beaches.”
For the complete details of House Bill
56, including recent activity, refer to