Senate Bills Meet Crossover Deadline

 

By: Jack Tarpey

On Wednesday, the NC Senate passed two bills marking serious rollbacks for environmental protections in North Carolina. With the crossover deadline rapidly approaching, the passage of these bills in the Senate means they will be eligible to be heard in the House at any time for the rest of this session.

S 515, the Jordan Lake Water Quality Act, passed and it calls for the repeal of the Jordan Lake Rules. These protections, designed to improve water quality in the lake, were the result of years of compromise and negotiations. Jordan Lake is an important source of drinking water for more than 300,000 people, as well as a popular recreation destination. The compromise rules have been put off several times since their adoption, and most of the measures have not had a chance to be implemented yet. However, unlike previous bills, S 515 is not an attempt at further delay, but rather a repeal of the rules in their entirety.  If this bill is to pass the house, it could take years to re-establish a new set of water quality regulations. Click here to help us preserve the Jordan Lake rules by sending your legislator a message!

Another critical bill, S 151, also passed the Senate.  S 151 seeks to remove the cap on terminal groins on the North Carolina coast. In the past, measures existed to protect the natural beauty of our beaches by banning the construction of hardened structures such as jetties, terminal groins, and seawalls. In 2011, after many attempts to overturn this ban, a compromise was reached that permitted the construction of four terminal groins, with reasonable restrictions. Now, legislators seek to completely remove that limit, and permit unrestricted construction on our coasts. If this passes in the house, it would be a huge detriment to the natural beauty of the state’s beaches. In the words of one Senator, the enactment of this bill would make our beaches “look like New Jersey.”

Click here to stand up and help save our beaches by asking your legislators to oppose S 151.

Both of these bills were passed before the crossover deadline, meaning that they are now eligible to be heard in the House. Your support and action is crucial in ensuring that these bills are stopped in the house and that we can preserve the natural beauty of our state!

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