You know something’s amiss in the General Assembly when even the folks who had criticized environmental rules for being too heavy-handed are now taking lawmakers to task for going too far in their response. The subject is Chatham County’s Jordan Lake and the rules that state environmental officials had adopted a few years back in order to save it from the pollution flowing down from Greensboro, Durham and other points north.
Today’s edition of the Greensboro News & Record — the hometown paper of the biggest city impacted by the rules (a city that had complained mightily about them) — editorializes against the state Senate’s plan to eviscerate the rules in a piece entitled “Don’t give up on lake”
“Greensboro asked for a few ounces of relief from the Jordan Lake Rules and was offered a flood. A flood that will run downstream….
The city asked the legislature for more changes this year, such as a waiver from requirements to block runoff from already existing impervious surfaces, concentrating instead on new development. It also wanted to transfer some responsibility for implementation to the state, which should accept more of the costs for its own rules.
Instead of modifying the rules, however, the state Senate passed a bill that would repeal them and begin the study process all over again.”
As we reported back in 2009, there’s a strong argument ot be made that the existing controversial rules did not go far enough. That said, let’s hope that, at a minimum, lawmakers heed the N&R’s request and work to find some way to preserve the rules and the lake.