Carrboro Passes Volume Controls

What is Carrboro doing about stream protection?

June 26, 2012 Carrboro agreed to pass Jordan Lake rules to reduce nutrients (that is, nitrogen and phosphorus) in rainwater runoff that pollutes our creeks and drinking supplies. Yet, at the same time, developers can still take advantage of an option of making payments in lieu in order to complying with this new standard. Michele Johnson and others Board members asked Town staff to look into the possibility of Carrboro setting up a structure that would allow the Town to bank fees directly toward watershed protection for the benefit of Carrboro creeks. Such a program would set an example for UNC and towns where fees go to projects far away from the damage done to local creeks.

How will the town control for water volume?

A good storm-water program controls for the total volume of water that flows into waterways, the topic of the second ordinance considered by the Carrboro Board on Tuesday night. At a Friends of Bolin Creek Symposium held last February, “Can We Heal Our Local Waterways?,” local watershed professionals identified volume controls as needed as part of local ordinances. Readers can learn more at: http://bolincreek.org/blog/symposium-2/presentations/.

In talking to Carrboro’s Environmental Planner Randy Dodd, we learned the Town considered several approaches in designing the Volume Control Ordinance to address this crucial gap in stream protection. Carrboro’s new volume control ordinance designs storm-water facilities as part of development plans up front, with the advantage that the developers will now know what to expect from the start.

Although technical members of the Friends of Bolin Creek were concerned the permitted volume control numbers were too high, they urged Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen to put in place the new ordinance as a first step. Board members did question the allowable volumes. In the end, Aldermen passed the volume control ordinance unanimously, seeing the wisdom of putting in place a standard that will bring certain improvements to upcoming projects.

For more information see the Carrboro Citizen full article.

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