The General Assembly of North Carolina recognizes and declares:
(1) The concern for the purity and life-giving qualities of our environment is of primary interest to every citizen of North Carolina and to all Americans.
(2) The quality of our environment depends upon the management of the air, water, and land resources upon which our lives depend.
(3) The ultimate responsibility for the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of North Carolina rests upon the State government.
(4) The environment of every state is affected with local, state, regional, and national interests since ecological systems cross state boundaries.
(5) The discharge of this responsibility of environmental protection can be enhanced by acting in concert and cooperation with other states and with the federal government. (1971, c. 805, s. 2.)