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NC lawmakers weigh making easier to pave wetlands

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina lawmakers are taking a last-minute stab at allowing developers to build on wetlands.

The state Senate on Thursday approved legislation backed by the state's homebuilders but opposed by the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which is headed by appointees of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. The measure must be approved by the House before this year's session ends Friday, then accepted by McCrory.

Republican Sen. Brent Jackson of Autryville says the legislation would allow developers to build on isolated wetlands ranging from the size of a mud hole to a couple of acres without a permit unless required by federal law. Federal law comes into play if a government agency or other group can prove the wetland is connected to a larger water body.

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