A New Day at the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources


There are some exciting changes happening in Raleigh. In his State of the State address two weeks ago, Governor McCrory outlined his vision for a new, more efficient government focused on customer service. It is the prerogative of this administration to say “so long” to the days of business versus government and usher in a new era where the two work together to accomplish a common goal.

Governor McCrory demonstrated this desire with the appointment of John E. Skvarla, III as the new Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. Secretary Skvarla brings a unique perspective to public service. He comes from the private sector, most recently serving as COO for Restoration Systems, a leading environmental restoration and mitigation firm that helps restore wetlands and waterways.

Secretary Skvarla has made it clear that it is not deregulation or softer enforcement that we need, but rather a working relationship between the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the private sector to ensure that projects are completed within the confines of the law and without harm to our environment. You can see this vision is already changing things at DENR by reading their new Mission Statement at the following link: http://www.ncrealtors.org/en/021813DENRMission.pdf.

Secretary Skvarla and Assistant Secretary of the Environment, Mitch Gillespie, will be reaching through all aspects of the Department from Raleigh through the DENR regional offices. In fact, Assistant Secretary Gillespie will begin touring the DENR Regional Offices at the conclusion of the legislative session to learn first-hand how DENR can better serve NC. Please send me any personal accounts, both good and bad, of DENR’s effect on the real estate industry in your area. These will be extremely helpful in providing the Department with examples of ways they can either improve relations with the public or promote the great things the regional offices are already doing for the public. We look forward to having our REALTORS and their clients as well as NCAR work with the new DENR and the new Secretary.

Cady Thomas Director of Government Affairs cthomas@ncrealtors.org

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