Cooper issues 6th veto, signs Sunday alcohol bill
Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation that directed North Carolina regulators to approve spraying liquid collected under landfills into the air, saying it puts specific technology above possibly better options for health and safety. The measure would make the Department of Environmental Quality approve a process called "aerosolization" for unclean wastewater collected within lined landfills. Regulatory approval would be optional for unlined landfills. Cooper said in a news release Friday that the bill "mandates a technology winner." "Scientists, not the legislature, should decide whether a patented technology can safely dispose of contaminated liquids from landfills," Cooper added. Supporters of the concept say it's safe, with contaminants sprayed over a very small area falling back in the ground while the water evaporates. The veto is Cooper's sixth. The Republican-controlled legislature has overridden the previous five. The General Assembly adjourned its annual work session early Friday morning but has scheduled an Aug. 3 session in part to consider overrides. The legislature left Cooper more than 100 bills to consider before leaving town. The Democratic governor also said he signed five other bills, including one that gives local governments the option to pass ordinances to allow the sale of alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays, instead of at noon currently statewide. The longtime midday restriction on Sunday has kept restaurants from selling cocktails during Sunday brunch and stores from selling beer to Carolina Panthers football fans before they go out to tailgate. The alcohol measure also makes concessions to distilleries by letting them sell five bottles a year directly to distillery tour visitors, up from one currently.