Neighbors on Call's Weekly Policy Update for 1/11/21


COVID-19


Environmental Policy

  • On Wednesday the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved a controversial air permit for a proposed biogas processing facility designed to convert swine waste from nineteen hog farms to energy. The facility, however, will not begin processing biogas until the participating hog farms receive required permits from the Department of Water Resources. The Southern Environmental Law Center issued a statement opposing the DEQ’s approval of the permit.

LGBTQ Rights/Criminal Justice

  • On December 31 the NC Court of Appeals struck down a state law that excludes people in same-sex relationships from obtaining certain protective orders against abusive domestic partners. The court ruled 2-1 that the law limiting 50B protective orders -- domestic violence protective orders that include provisions to strip the offender of access to firearms, among other provisions -- to opposite-sex couples violated the equal protection and due process rights of the plaintiff, a Wake County woman who had sought a 50B protective order against a former female partner. Prior to this ruling, North Carolina was the only state in the country that did not allow domestic violence protective orders for same-sex partners.

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