Local News

State bill takes aim at 'green' laws

Posted August 14, 2013

— Durham County’s effort to encourage greener living could be a thing of the past.

A bill awaiting the signature of Gov. Pat McCrory would invalidate the county’s Commute Trip Reduction Ordinance, a law implemented in 1999 that requires large employers to suggest carpooling, public transportation and bike-to-work programs to its employees.

House Bill 74 would make ordinances such as Durham County’s illegal. Supporters, including state Rep. William Brawley, R-Mecklenberg, say the county is overstepping its authority. He takes issue with the county’s fine of up to $1,000 for businesses that don’t comply.

“We are not going to allow Durham County or any county to fine businesses for not participating in what should be a voluntary program,” he said.

County officials touted the program’s success and said no one has ever been fined.

“We'd rather help them find a solution than fine them,” said Tobin Freid, the county's sustainability manager.

Being green is nothing new at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.

“We’ve done some initiatives on our own,” spokeswoman Leslie Pepple said.

Bill would ban Durham's commuter ordinance Bill would ban Durham's commuter ordinance

Those initiatives include installing electric car chargers and creating a “green team.” So it was no big deal when Durham County told the museum it had to follow the requirements of a commuter reduction ordinance, Pepple said.

“This is another step we could take to further green the museum,” she said.

The ordinance also requires businesses appoint a main contact for reduction efforts and create a plan to encourage employees to drive less. Businesses must also conduct employee surveys every other year and pay a $200 administrative fee.

The county says it's been a success.

“We’ve met our goal,” Freid said. “Our goal was a 20 percent reduction in vehicle miles traveled.”

McCrory has until Aug. 25 to sign the bill. If he does not, it will become law without his signature.

Despite the looming deadline, Freid said she still sees a greener future for the county.

“We might have to make changes to it, but if that's the law, we'll do what we need to do,” she said.



45 Comments

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  • OleNCNative Aug 20, 2013

    1) the Durham law merely says the employers have to suggest carpooling. That's it. Suggest.

    2) the Durham busses are full. You obviously have a car.

  • stymieindurham Aug 19, 2013

    "Just another Republican overreach into local government - what a surprise."
    ============================================================
    ====

    Perhaps not. Maybe Durham should look at the mostly empty city busses running around the county polluting and wasting fuel. They should clean up their own back yard first and stay out of mine. Progressive Durham democrats getting in MY business.

  • BGJ Aug 16, 2013

    they are still terribly polluted and that's what you seem to want to ignore

    No one is ignoring the pollution. It's obviously polluted. The point is we do not want to be like China as it pertains to their level of pollution. We DO want to be like China in terms of their investments in "green" technology. By continuing to invest in fracking and other energy sources which do pollute, we become more like China in ways we do not want to be like them.

  • Get your IDs Aug 15, 2013

    Wow, there is an impressive amount of ignorance packed into that modestly sized paragraph!

    Click to view my profile Nope

    you global warming alarmist are a religion whether you want to face it or not. I laid put the comparisons and you choose to ignore them because they are critical of your scam just like a good religious fundie would do

  • Get your IDs Aug 15, 2013

    Not really sure what point you're trying to make here?

    junkmail5

    they are still terribly polluted and that's what you seem to want to ignore

  • hp277 Aug 15, 2013

    Just another Republican overreach into local government - what a surprise.

  • bill0 Aug 15, 2013

    "of which there is not. It changes daily. For every 100 articles that say its an issue there are 100 more that says it isnt. "

    Except that isn't even close to true. The actual stat is for every 98 scientific study that support it, 2 don't. The GOP has wrong headedly decide to hitch their horses to the 2% vs 98%. It is fine to disagree on solutions to the problem or what you are willing to give up to address the problem, but that isn't what is going on in the modern GOP.

  • junkmail5 Aug 15, 2013

    ...ever been there? If you ever go, take real deep breaths in some of the lesser known industrial cities....if you don't pass out. Maybe test the water in a lot of the rivers. Being green also includes being environmentally responsible, and they lag there significantly. Let's not even get into workplace safety.... You can't look at half the picture.....
    btneast

    ... ? really not getting your point here.

    It began when I pointed out China is investing a lot in green energy.

    You then incorrectly claimed they didn't actually use much green energy.

    I provided you details and evidence that was wrong, and in fact they're among the world leaders in it- well ahead of the US.

    So your reply now is "Sure they use a lot of green energy but they ALSO pollute a lot!"?

    Not really sure what point you're trying to make here?

  • Nope Aug 15, 2013

    "of which there is not. It changes daily. For every 100 articles that say its an issue there are 100 more that says it isnt. So like religion you have chosen what you want to believe that most closely identifies with your feelings. Then you set out to hassle people who drive SUVs or Hummers and chastise that won't recylce etc... ya see where Im going with this? Your religion is based on shakey science, thats the only difference. Its nice to see the climate scientist shucking and jiving and still trying to blame globwal warming for the continued global cooling. You attibute everything to it, just like fundies attribute everything to their god. Heck Time magazine was warning us of the coming Ice Age back in the 70s!

    Get your IDs"

    Wow, there is an impressive amount of ignorance packed into that modestly sized paragraph!

  • btneast Aug 15, 2013

    China is #1.

    So yes, they're investing a lot in it, and while they're exporting a lot, they're also USING a lot.

    ...ever been there? If you ever go, take real deep breaths in some of the lesser known industrial cities....if you don't pass out. Maybe test the water in a lot of the rivers. Being green also includes being environmentally responsible, and they lag there significantly. Let's not even get into workplace safety.... You can't look at half the picture.....

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