Arguments over clean air and encouraging jobs are colliding over whether to cut back on North Carolina's regulation of toxic industrial chemicals in the air.
Legislation that would pare back state regulation of airborne toxics passed the state House last week. A Senate vote hasn't been scheduled.
The state airborne toxics law allows regulators to consider the health risks to a community near a polluting plant, while federal rules set a pollution standard that varies depending on the industry. Generally, companies subject to the federal requirements meet them if they use the best available technology for their emissions.
Big polluters last year asked lawmakers to scrap the state air regulations and leave the federal rules.