by Matt Saldaña
Update: HB 239 is scheduled to be voted on in the Senate on Wednesday, June 10, at 3 p.m.
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources has approved a bill that would clear the way for a state-mandated program to clean up Jordan Lake, a critical drinking-water source that has been on EPA's Impaired Waters list since 2002. The bill, “Restore Water Quality in Jordan Reservoir” (also known as HB 239), was previously approved by the House chamber, and will now come up for a vote in the N.C. Senate.
Originally titled “Disapprove Jordan Lake Rules,” HB 239 represents a modification to the nutrient-reduction strategy adopted by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, and approved by the N.C. Rules Review Commission. In particular, it reduces EMC’s ability to regulate pollution that results from existing development–the principal reason the lake has appeared on the Impaired Waters list for “excess nutrients.” Nevertheless, the bill allows nutrient-reduction goals to go forward, in order to return Jordan Lake to federal Clean Water Act compliance.
For more background on the bill, check out the Triangulator's "Jordan Lake rules" tag. Check back for updates.