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The demise of Jordan Lake continues

More happy news for the environment in North Carolina: According to the one of the state’s most experienced and knowledgeable environmental policy experts, Sierra Club Executive Director Molly Diggins, today is likely to be an especially dark chapter in the ongoing effort to prevent the gradual transormation of Jordan Lake into a 22 square mile toilet as two destructive proposals await final legislative action.

Here is her take on Senate Bill 515 — a bill that awaits final approval in the House this afternoon:

“S 515, Jordan Lake Water Quality Act (House version) would violate the state’s 2007 agreement with EPA to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous coming into the lake, primarily from development.  Excess  nutrients promote algae growth, which kills aquatic and makes drinking water more expensive to treat.

Instead, the bill would have the state embark on a pilot project to address the symptoms, not the causes of what ails the lake.  EPA has already indicated that this approach will not satisfy the state’s obligations under the Clean Water Act.

Who wins?  If the House version becomes law, the big winners would  appear to be commercial and residential developers who would not have to control runoff from new development into the lake and its tributaries.

Another big winner would appear to be the unnamed vendor who would receive $1.3 million in state funds, exempt from state contracting rules, under a special provision in the budget for equipment related to the pilot project.”

 And here is her analysis of Senate Bill 315 — a proposal that has passed both houses and awaits concurrence in the Senate this afternoon:

“S. 315, Municipal Services   S 315 is intended to promote and protect the “751 South” project. The new development would add 81 acres of paved surface near the most polluted part of Jordan Lake on the New Hope Creek arm.  It would also destroy pollution-filtering wetlands.  Like S 515, S 315 would make federally required nutrient reductions in Jordan Lake much more difficult to achieve.  SB 315 would also force the City of Durham to annex land for the proposed development despite repeated votes by the City Council not to do so.

Who wins:  If S 315 becomes law, the big winner would appear to be 751 developer or Southern Durham  Development.”

 

8 Comments

  1. Larry Ausley

    July 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    The State had developed reasonable and (dare I use the term) progressive watershed management strategies for the Lake Jordan drainage under what used to be the premier State water quality program in the country. This legislature will look fondly back into these “Good Old Days” of reasonable and collaborative approaches to protecting and managing our water quality when the USEPA steps in and rescinds the State’s delegation of its NPDES programs under the Clean Water Act and management of the mandatory TMDL for the impaired waters of Lake Jordan.

  2. Doug

    July 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    If we are going against the enviroradicals in the EPA and Sierra club then we are making some progress in common sense for the preservation of Jordan Lake.

  3. Jack

    July 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    What the NCGA will ultimately affect is the quality of life for all in NC. The anti-government sentiment in the GA is leading us into an economic and environmental disaster. If the standard for progress is raising the ire of the “enviroradicals” (In other words whoever disagrees with me.) then it is a fool who either stands by or sets such a standard.

  4. Alex

    July 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Chicken Little is out again ! The doomsayers seem to be everywhere recently !

  5. Jack

    July 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    If this is your reply Alex then you are not old enough or have studied U.S. history well enough to know this county’s story when business was not held accountable for their actions of dumping chemicals and other pollutants in our water and on our land. We don’t need another Love Canal or Times Beach.

    As for the chicken little and doomsayers reply, it is dismissive therefore revealing that you will not support any responsible actions that makes our environment a priority.

  6. Doug

    July 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    So the current draconian measures that are in place all over the nation to protect the environment are not enough? The only situation the enviroweenies would accept as an ultimate goal is to remove the human race from earth.

  7. RJ

    July 25, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Doug well I guess you finally figured out our plans for the elimination of homo sapiens from the earth except for a select few of us who are left to enjoy Jordan Lake in all its flood-control splendor! Since you won’t bow down to reeducation, I guess you’ll have to go to the soylent green factory for rendering. That’s what happens when you meddle in the affairs of the omnipotent enviroweenies!

  8. Doug

    July 25, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Glad you admit it RJ!