Commentary

Editorial blasts legislature’s latest cockamamie water pollution scheme

Jordan-Lake-Fall-1024x453One of the best editorials of the weekend comes from Sunday’s Greensboro News & Record. The impetus: the latest harebrained scheme in the state Senate to clean up polluted Piedmont lakes with mussels rather than genuine pollution control.

This is from an editorial entitled “The pollution dodge”::

“From bees to mussels, it seems our state Senate will try any dodge to avoid cleaning up lakes and rivers in North Carolina.

The N.C. Division of Environmental Quality this spring finally pulled the plug on the failed, multimillion-dollar SolarBees experiment in Jordan Lake that the legislature devised in 2014. The solar-powered water mixers were supposed to break up algae blooms in the polluted reservoir — a cheap alternative to measures that would reduce pollutants flowing into the lake in the first place. DEQ found no improvement in water quality.

So, on to the next gimmick. The Senate included in its new budget a $500,000 appropriation to the Wildlife Resources Commission for an assessment of “strategies for use of freshwater mussel species in impaired water bodies in the state, including Jordan and Falls lakes.” Key to the study would be a look at the “filtration capacity” of the little molluscs.”

After noting that mussels can actually do some good when it comes to cleaning water pollution, the
editorial concludes this way:

“Several species of freshwater mussel are native to North Carolina. But their numbers are greatly reduced, in large part because of … pollution. As they consume algae, which contribute to eutrophication, toxic substances in polluted water can kill them.

Then there’s other aquatic life that also will suffer if rivers and lakes are less protected.

Limits on land use, development and discharges from sewage treatment plants are expensive for property owners and cities like Greensboro. Restrictions should be cost-effective.

But trying out one sure-to-fail gimmick after another is no solution. People deserve clean drinking water, not delays and dodges.”

In other words: Enough! These absurd delays and cockamamie schemes need to stop now. Unfortunately, when it comes to preserving and protecting the natural environment, absurd delays, cockamamie schemes and, oh yes, the frequent appearance of corrupt favoritism for the Guv’s former employer is about all the McCrory administration has to show us.

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