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Stormwater regulations shouldn't pass

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

To the editor: There is a lot of concern about the Coastal Stormwater Rules passed by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) that affect the 20 coastal counties of our state.

Unless legislation to rescind or significantly change these rules is passed by the N.C. legislature, these technically flawed and economically unfeasible rules will become law.

A compelling argument against the rules comes from Dr. Nancy White, director of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute.

White spoke with the Coastal Stormwater Stakeholder’s Working Group, which is meeting at the request of the legislature to develop compromise rules.

She expressed her opinion the rules do not address their purpose to clean up and improve water quality. She was later interviewed on talk radio station WTKF 107.3 by “Viewpoints” host Lockwood Phillips, where she further elaborated.

Her comments are archived at www.wtkf107.com/viewpointsradio.html. Click on the “Dr. Nancy White Interview” icon.

White has extensive knowledge on stormwater issues. She concludes no single source of pollution creates water quality problems and a simple, quick solution will not solve the problems.

She points out if we do not study all the scientific facts, it’s impossible to come up with workable solutions. She cautions us not to expect these rules to solve problems.

We do not want untested and unfair regulation to penalize our coastal counties and still not provide a solution. It is critical to listen to experts like Dr. Nancy White who can provide factual data.

She has been selected to co-chair an Innovative Stormwater Advisory Group, which will be meeting to study and propose innovative stormwater practices that are better planned, more cost-effective and more reliable.

It is premature to pass Coastal Stormwater Rules before we have accurate, cost-effective solutions. There is too much at stake to permit poor regulation to be implemented in haste. Our future depends on it.

These rules should not be passed until there is consensus on the science and economic impacts to Eastern North Carolina.