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@NCCapitol

Senate repeals Jordan Lake Rules, jetty cap

Posted May 15, 2013

The Oregon Inlet is often too shallow for commercial fishermen to navigate due to sand that has filled the channel.

— Proposals to repeal water-quality rules for Jordan Lake and to allow more terminal groins at the coast survived the crossover deadline by passing the Senate Wednesday. 

Senate Bill 515 would immediately repeal the state's 2009 water-quality rules to mitigate pollution and runoff flowing into Jordan Lake, a drinking water source for much of the Triangle. 

Sponsor Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, said the rules are costing developers and cities hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they aren't working. He says a legislative commission will meet over the next few months to start from scratch on a new set of rules. 

"We need to take a stand here and say we are going to do something to help the people who have to use the lake as a water supply," said co-sponsor Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford. In the meantime she added, "We need to quit just throwing money at this lake."

Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, called those arguments "completely devoid of history."  

"The reason there’s been no improvement in the water quality of the lake is because the rules have not taken effect yet," he said. "Y'all keep putting them off." 

Stein said repealing mitigation rules to improve water quality is “inane.”

"By the same logic, somebody who is genetically overweight shouldn’t be concerned at all about what they eat. Eat all the sweets and sugar they want. It’s OK, because we’ll treat them for diabetes," Stein said. "No doctor in the world would agree to that."

The bill passed the Senate 31-16 and goes to the House, along with Senate Bill 151, which would allow terminal groins in all 14 of the state's inlets. 

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, said the proliferation of groins would make the state's beaches "look like New Jersey."

"What we are doing is going to change radically the beautiful beaches of North Carolina, and there will be no turning back," she said. 

Sponsor Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, disagreed, saying the structures would help protect inlets and land values.

"Every time we try to protect ourselves, our real estate," he responded, "suddenly a stop-sign comes up, and everyone has a better idea than we do." 

The bill also eases most of the restrictions and regulations in current law for the four pilot-project structures approved in 2011. All four permits have been issued, but none has yet been built. 

"Nobody can build them," said Sen Harry Brown, R-Onslow. "We made it so restrictive that nobody can jump through the hoops."

The bill also allows local governments to take on debt without voter approval to pay for the multimillion-dollar projects.

Stein ran an amendment to require voter approval for borrowing for terminal groins, but Republican leaders used a parliamentary maneuver to avoid a recorded vote on the amendment. 

"For folks who didn’t want to help us with dredging, it seems like you want to get in the middle of all the issues on the coast," said Brown.

The bill passed on a vote of 36-11.

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  • rroadrunner99 May 24, 2013

    Mr Gunn meant to say that developers have hundreds of thousands of dollars of developments they could build, but the pollution laws prevent it! I haven't seen a single developer out at Jordan Lake throwing money at the lake Mr Gunn.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh May 24, 2013

    Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick.
    Rick Gunn, R-Alamance.
    Trudy Wade, R-Guilford.

    Add 3 more to the seemingly endless list of CLUELESS REPUBLICAN senators and legislators in North Carolina.

    Senate Bill 515 would "immediately repeal the state's 2009 water-quality rules to mitigate pollution and runoff flowing into Jordan Lake, a drinking water source for much of the Triangle."

    Sponsor Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, said "the rules are costing developers and cities hundreds of thousands of dollars" and Trudy Wade, R-Guilford added, "We need to quit just throwing money at this lake."

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh May 24, 2013

    "Sponsor Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, disagreed, saying the structures would help protect inlets and land values.

    "Every time we try to protect ourselves, our real estate," he responded, "suddenly a stop-sign comes up, and everyone has a better idea than we do."

    Let me get this straight. Rabon lives on the coast, and doesn't even vaguely understand coastal erosion dynamics, and why they call groins the "New Jersey-fication" of our coasts. Wow. So I'm guessing he doesn't believe in evolution or science or any of that other crazy liberal stuff either.

    Gotta love our Republican legislature!

  • lolasandvik May 16, 2013

    Sickening. The rules being repealed are the result of lots of work, a true compromise in 2011. NCGA should let the Jordan Lake Rules actually do their job!

  • billsmith98 May 16, 2013

    There's a lot of back-scratching going happening on this one. I know it goes on in both parties, but to lift restrictions on safe drinking water?...glad I got's a well.