Another legacy of the 2013 session: More polluted water
“Legislature ends session with Jordan Lake bills
Jordan Lake bills signal tough times ahead for troubled lake
RALEIGH – Early this morning, the Senate gave final approval to
SB 515, a measure to further delay the rules intended to clean up Jordan Lake. Jordan Lake is a drinking water supply for more than 300,000 people in the Triangle. Over the three years of delay, more pollutants will run into the lake making it more expensive and difficult to clean up down the road.
“We have a plan in place to clean up Jordan Lake.” said Molly Diggins, state director of the NC Sierra Club. “ But now lawmakers in Raleigh have needlessly delayed that plan. Instead, they are diverting more than a million dollars from other clean water projects to pay for a pilot project that will not address pollution flowing into the Lake.”
The Jordan Lake rules are the means by which North Carolina, under the Clean Water Act, will achieve federally mandated targeted reductions in nutrient loading into the Jordan Lake reservoir. The binding agreement between the state and EPA, approved in 2007, calls for reducing the pollutants that are causing impairment of the lake.
“We know how to clean up Jordan Lake – we need to limit upstream pollution. The pilot project is simply another way to delay cleaning up Jordan Lake to accommodate development interests.” said Diggins.
The NC Senate also today approved S 315, Municipal Services, after over a week of calendaring and removing the measure. S 315, Municipal Services would require Durham to provide water and sewer to the “751 South” project near Jordan Lake and eventually annex the property. The new development would increase runoff into Jordan Lake and destroy pollution-filtering wetlands.
“Today’s vote on S 315 promotes and protects development interests at the expense of water quality” said Diggins.
Both Jordan Lake bills became bargaining chips, held to the very end of the session.