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Senate bill with environmental changes clears chamber

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Several North Carolina environmental law changes have cleared the state Senate.

The omnibus bill written by Republicans and approved Thursday largely along party lines would raise the threshold before a developer must make environmental improvements when streams are destroyed or buried.

State regulators would be barred from instituting stormwater control measures to protect downstream water quality unless state or federal law requires them. It also would allow the federal government to pump standing stormwater caused by flooding on federal land into the ocean.

There are additional provisions unrelated to the environment, like directing how the state disposes of reptiles that are prohibited from individual ownership. A section delaying an insurance requirement for moped owners beginning July 1 got removed in committee earlier Thursday.

The measure now heads to the House.

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