|Update! The stream buffer requirements that changed by legislative action will be reviewed and incorporated by the City once the state issues a guidance document on the issue. As for the extension of the wastewater compliance rule, Water Resources is reviewing its plant upgrade design to make a recommendation -- expected sometime this winter -- on how best to move forward with the new compliance date.
The Jordan Lake Rules are a nutrient management strategy designed to restore water quality in Jordan Lake, which is located south of Durham, by reducing the amount of pollution entering upstream.
Restoration and protection of the lake is deemed essential by the NC Division of Water Quality (DWQ) because it serves as a water supply for several thriving communities, as well as a prime recreation area for more than a million visitors each year. The lake and surrounding forests also provide critical habitat for many plant and animal species.
The Jordan Lake Rules became effective in August 2009 and has several components that can be found on this fact sheet and by visiting DWQ's Jordan Lake Rules website.
To date, the City of Greensboro has implemented:
- January 1, 2010 - Stage I of the Existing Development Rule
- December 1, 2010 - Stream Buffer Rule.
The following required items have been extended 3 years by a legislative action:
- August 10, 2014 (legislative extention until 2017) - New Development Rule
- March 1, 2017 (legislative extension until 2020) - Stage II of the Existing Development Rule (original compromise legislation from Session Law 2009-216 & 2009-484)
- 2018 (legislative extension until 2021) - Wastewater Discharge Rule compliance (previous legislative extension).
In this current legislative session, the City supports additional modifications to three of the rules for the following reasons:
- Repeal unfunded mandate for local governments to enforce state rules by requiring the state to implement the stream buffer rule.
- Amend stream buffer rules to allow for additional utilities (not just electric) to facilitate development patterns consistent with other regions of the state.
- Permit stream piping in accordance with federal requirements consistent with other regions of the state.
- Allow small infill sites of less than one acre to be developed without nutrient treatment (instead of the current half-acre) consistent with other areas in the western Piedmont region.
- Grandfather previously developed areas and treat only new or added development (prior development is already accounted for and required to be addressed in the existing development rule).
- Due to its unprecedented nature, uncertainty of ecological benefit and costs to the municipalities, the Haw River Arm Stage II existing development rule was scheduled to be the last implemented in 2017. Now that a wastewater treatment plant and new development rules have been delayed to 2018 and 2014 respectively, it is appropriate to adjust the existing development rule implementation until ecological benefits of those prior rules are demonstrated.