A bill that would delay state-mandated efforts to clean up Jordan Lake until 2017 but preserve much of their pollution-reduction goals cleared the House Environment and Natural Resources committee today.

‘People upstream don’t want to do a thing. People downstream want a rule exactly the way it was,” said bill sponsor Pryor Gibson (D-Anson), after rubbing his eyes dramatically at the lectern. ‘As imperfect as it may be … it’s time for this bill to move forward.”

The unanimous committee vote sent the compromise version of the bill to the House Judiciary 1 committee, and, presuming it passes there, eventually to a House and Senate vote.

‘It’s still not there. It’s still not going to protect Jordan Lake,” said Elizabeth Ouzts, state director for Environment North Carolina.

The bill is a modification to HB 239, ‘Disapprove Jordan Lake Rules,” which would have completely blocked regulations written by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) that were intended to bring the polluted reservoir back into compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.

An earlier modification, introduced last week in committee, had more significantly lowered pollution-reduction goals for the most impaired section of Jordan Lake, and based pollution controls on “measurable reductions,” not actual water quality standards. The new modification replaced this version of the bill.

Read the full story at indyweek.com.