Under the Dome

N.C. House panel delays, not repeals, Jordan Lake rules

A N.C. House committee narrowly voted Thursday to delay a costly environmental cleanup of Jordan Lake in a classic regional water war pitting development interests against environmental concerns.

The House Environment Committee voted 12-9 to delay the lake cleanup by three years. Spooked by the potential $2 billion cleanup bill, lawmakers are considering a cheaper alternative: technology that will stir the lake’s water and prevent algae from forming.

Jordan Lake is a drinking water supply for more than 300,000 residents in Cary, Morrisville and Apex. But most of the nutrient runoff that fertilizes the algae blooms comes from cities north and west: Durham, Chapel Hill, Burlington and Greensboro.

The effort to find an alternative to reducing pollution is being led by Sen. Rick Gunn, a commercial real-estate executive from Burlington. Gunn’s Senate Bill 515 includes a 2-year test of technologies that circulate and aerate water to keep it from stagnating. “We’re committed and we need to be committed to fixing this lake,” Gunn told the House committee members before the vote. Read more here.

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