NC Sierra Club • Environmental Defense Fund • WakeUP Wake County • American Rivers Haw River Assembly • NC League of Conservation Voters • Environment North Carolina Waterkeepers Carolina • NC Conservation Network • Clean Water for North Carolina July 19, 2013 Governor Pat McCrory Office of the Governor Raleigh, North Carolina Re: Senate Bill 515, Jordan Lake Water Quality Act, Implementation of TMDL Dear Governor McCrory: Our organizations collectively have for several years been working through public processes to protect clean drinking water supplies and improve the health of Jordan Lake and the other drinking water sources in the Upper Cape Fear River Basin. The Jordan Lake cleanup plan was put in place after a thorough public process and legislative review analyzed all available options and provided for flexible management of the resource. This followed upon the legislature’s enactment of the Clean Water Responsibility Act in 1997. We are concerned that SB 515, Delay Jordan Lake Water Quality Act, a measure working its way through the NC legislature, will abandon all of that work. By further delaying the restoration of this vitally important state resource and other drinking water supplies in the basin, it will ultimately increase the cost of cleanup to taxpayers without putting a scientifically sound alternative in its place. The Jordan Lake rules are the means by which North Carolina, under the Clean Water Act, will achieve federally mandated targeted reductions (Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL) in nutrient loading into the Jordan Lake reservoir. The TMDL is a binding agreement between the state and EPA, approved in 2007, that calls for reducing the pollutants that are causing impairment of the lake. A three year delay in the implementation of the Jordan Lake plan, as proposed by the House, would not relieve North Carolina of the obligation to achieve reductions under its TMDL. Worse, while the rules are on hold, new development will increase nutrient loading into the lake. Unmanaged polluted stormwater is the major cause of water quality impairment and must be corrected to restore water quality. EPA, in a recent letter*, has raised concerns about the potential impact of S. 515 on North Carolina's ability to achieve the TMDL for Jordan Lake. The EPA notes that any abandonment of efforts to achieve reductions from non-point source dischargers could make it necessary for the EPA to revisit the current TMDL and assign greater reductions to permitted point source dischargers. This would likely shift the cost of cleanup from new development to upstream cities like Burlington and Greensboro. The House is also proposing a pilot project funded by Clean Water Management Trust Fund monies and using water circulators and perhaps other technologies. However, the proposed project would not address nutrient reductions which are the focus of the TMDL and thus would not address the state’s obligations under the Clean Water Act.