Eric Leary: Prevent Jordan Lake pollution first

July 20, 2013 

Prevent lake pollution

The July 14 editorial “Troubled waters” described Sen. Rick Gunn’s proposal to use solar-powered agitators to clean up Jordan Lake as “an idea that combines Jules Verne and Rube Goldberg.” The appeal of solar-powered technology to solve this problem feels good to someone like me, but I can’t overstate my cynicism.

Worse, the House is proposing to pay for the pilot project by siphoning $2 million from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund for what seems essentially to be a lake-scaled, pool-cleaning robot. The CWMTF has traditionally provided grants to localities and land trusts for conservation along rivers and for improvements to wastewater treatment plants. This feels like economic development of the best kind.

Funding for the visionary CWMTF has already been cut from $100 million to less than $11 million a year. It could be substantially less as the legislature finalizes this year’s budget.

That $2 million Gunn wants to give away for an old technology that won’t get the job done would be better used to help Greensboro and Burlington keep out the pollution that goes into the streams and lake in the first place.

Eric Leary

Raleigh

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