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Senate Efforts Would Further Derail Jordan Lake Cleanup

Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt
Jordan Lake, Durham

Two proposals in the State Legislature would have a significant impact on the so-called Jordan Lake Rules. The rules were passed in 2009 and were designed to reduce polluted runoff into the lake, among other regulations. Jordan Lake has been on the federal list of impaired waterways since 2002.

One provision in the current Senate budget would delay the implementation of the Jordan Lake Rules for two years. The rules have been delayed previously in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

The Senate is also responsible for another potential change. It’s a provision in a regulatory reform bill that would prohibit local governments from enforcing any rules that have been delayed. That means towns like Cary, Morrisville, Apex, and other communities that get drinking water from Jordan Lake would not be able to continue local efforts to improve water quality.

More than 300,000 residents get their drinking water from Jordan Lake.

In 2013, the General Assembly passed a pilot program to put SolarBees on Jordan Laketo churn up harmful algae. The results of that program should be available later this year.

The Senate version of the budget would expand the in-lake strategy to other impaired bodies of water, such as Falls Lake.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Feature News Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
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