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State Praises Cary Over New Environmental Buffer Plan

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CARY — A Wake County town known for its growth is now leading the charge to save the environment and our drinking water. The state'sDepartment of Environment and Natural Resourcesthanked Cary for its actions Wednesday and urged other towns to follow suit.

Clean water is something that everyone can all agree is important to the state's quality of life. In Cary, it just became a little more important.

"Cary has not only adopted buffer requirements, but they've adopted them twice as strict as the state," says Bill Holman, state environmental secretary.

Cary has passed an ordinance requiring a 100-foot buffer between all development and water. The state requires just 50 feet.

"It's for flood control, and it's for water quality. It cleans the dirty water up from the development before it gets to the stream itself," says Cary Mayor Glen Lang. "It's enough of a buffer so that we can clean the water up before it gets into our streams."

Sal Musarra works for a developer. His client agreed to put in the 100-foot buffer on a 35-acre tract of land.

"We thought that we could give a little extra, give up a little bit of land and maintain the quality of protection around the stream that the town was looking for," he says. "Developers will find a way to use the property that is usable."

It may be something other towns and counties are looking for. The state hopes Cary's ordinance will start a trend.

"We have to protect the quality of the air, the quality of the water or we're not going to have a great place to live," says Wake County Commissioner Yvonne Brannon.

Wake County and Apex are looking at creating bigger buffer zones. By the end of this week, all towns and counties must submit a plan to the state outlining their plan.


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