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Environmental bill impacts charter boats

BARRY SMITH
FREEDOM RALEIGH BUREAU

RALEIGH — Gov. Mike Easley has signed into law a bill that would help clear the way for a $2 billion expansion for Duke Energy’s Cliffside power plant located on the Cleveland-Rutherford County line.

The bill, which contains a medley of changes to environmental laws, also provides that blanket recreational fishing licenses for charter boats would be issued to the boat, not the operator.

The part of the bill changing the coastal recreational fishing license law will affect people who operate charter fishing boats for hire.

Now, a blanket license covering everyone fishing on a charter boat can be issued to the vessel. Previously, such blanket licenses would be issued to the boat’s operator.

Some charter boat operators felt that issuing the license to cover the operator instead of the vessel could be an inconvenience to them, said Preston Pate, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. (more…)