NC water chief defends rejection of federal grant

RALEIGH - North Carolina's top water quality regulator is defending his rejection of federal grant money intended to help the state monitor environmental impacts on streams and wetlands caused by drilling for natural gas.
WRAL-TV of Raleigh reported Friday that Division of Water Resources director Tom Reeder spoke before a meeting of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission. He said the $580,000 in grants he turned down from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would have been useless to regulators because they would have tested only surface water, not groundwater.
That position was roundly criticized by a coalition of environmental and conservation groups concerned about the potential for harm from North Carolina's plans to allow energy companies to drill for gas natural using hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.

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