From the NC State Sierra Club…..
Years of progress — and yes, leadership– in cleaning up our state’s rivers is on the chopping block. Your help is urgently needed today.
Last week, the NC Senate unveiled and virtually overnight passed a plan that would eliminate many important water quality protections across the state. There’s hope in stopping these rollbacks, but if we are going to, we need you to contact your NC House Representative today!
First, let me remind you where this story begins. In the summer of 1995, millions of fish died in the Neuse River, capturing the attention of the state and nation. The cause? Low oxygen levels due to pollution in the river.
Citizens demanded action and North Carolina began a journey to put programs and policies into place to keep our rivers healthy by limiting pollution. The results? The Neuse River rules. The Falls Lake Rules. The creation of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
But just last week, the North Carolina Senate voted to reverse course.
The state Senate’s policy rollbacks were added to the budget (Section 14.13) passed on Friday. The provision would delay implementing rules designed to protect Jordan Lake for the fifth time and — for the first time– delay rules that protect Falls Lake.
Worst of all, in 2020, the provision would repeal the protections for these lakes and replace them with an unknown alternative. Together, Jordan and Falls Lakes supply drinking water for over 700,000 people in the Triangle.
That’s not all.
This budget provision would also eliminate one our most cost-effective ways to protect water quality: vegetated buffers along rivers. The Senate voted to get rid of buffer and other water quality requirements for the following impaired waterways in 2020:
- Neuse River Basin;
- Tar-Pamlico Basin;
- Part of the Goose Creek watershed;
- Randleman Reservoir in Guilford County; and,
- Catawba River Basin riparian buffers.And again, our existing science-based protections would be replaced with an unknown alternative.We need you to take action today! Hurry, there’s not much time to contact your state House Representative before the final budget negotiations begin!
Lead Organizer for the NC Sierra Club
P.S. – We need you to help protect important water quality protections that keep our public waters swimmable, fishable, and drinkable!