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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Gov. Bev Perdue has decided not to veto a bill that places a moratorium on using a state-sponsored science panel’s recommendation to plan for rising sea levels.

The bill becomes law as a result of her inaction.

The measure has been lampooned by comedians and has drawn the ire of environmentalists. It blocks the state from adopting any rate of sea level change for regulatory purposes until 2016, while authorizing more studies.

The science panel warned sea levels could rise by more than three feet by 2100 and threaten coastal areas.

A coastal development group rejected those findings and says the seas will only rise eight inches.

Perdue says she allowed the bill to become law because local governments can still create their own standards.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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