Dan Coleman's blog

Hearing on Proposed Jordan Lake Rules

Those interested in water quality may want to attend a Public Hearing for the Proposed Water Supply Nutrient Strategy for B. Everett Jordan Reservoir. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June July 12, at The Century Center.

This is one of three hearings being held by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality. A good overview can be found in their public notice.

The proposed rules call for much more stringent discharge limits for phosphorus and nitrogen. As well as the regulations themselves, a major concern for local government is who pays for the improvements. As Mayor Chilton pointed out at a recent board meeting, the Corps of Engineers laid out the lake to take significant run off from more densely populated areas, those areas are already ahead of the curve on controlling run-off (as compared to others in the watershed), and we will not consume Jordan Lake water.

The proposed rules are here.

"Schools predict budget slashes"

The title of this post was Tuesday's Chapel Hill News headline. The News' quote from School Board member Lisa Stuckey speaks volumes:

"I think we're caught in a situation where our district continues to grow, the state continues to implement pay raises which are badly needed by teachers and other employees," said school board member Lisa Stuckey, who is serving on that committee.

"And it would be quite ironic if in meeting the demands of growth and in working to bring staff wages to appropriate levels we would then have to cut staff positions," she added. "And I see that as quite likely this year."

Read the whole story for more details. Or read the fine column recently published by Mark Peters.

There was also a column in Wednesday's paper by schools superintendent Neil Pedersen. I could not find a link to it online.

Congressman Price Seeks Review of Fire Enforcement of Nuclear Plants

Here is the press release that I sent out on behalf of the six local government delegates who participated in the recent meeting with Congressman Price on nuclear safety.

May 14, 2007

Congressman Price Seeks Review of Fire Enforcement of Nuclear Plants

Local officials applaud David Price, and reveal further delays at all Progress Energy plants

Officials from six local governments in North Carolina thanked Congressman David Price today for seeking an investigation into the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's enforcement of fire safety regulations at nuclear power plants. The officials also revealed new information showing that Shearon Harris plant owner Progress Energy has again fallen years behind in its latest promise to correct longstanding fire safety violations – a prime risk factor for a nuclear meltdown – at Harris and at the company's other four reactors in the Southeast.

Building a better economy

Randee Haven-O'Donnell and I have a guest column in today's Chapel Hill News on Carrboro's efforts to actualize sustainability through locally-based economic development. Our approach is based largely on the thinking of Michael Shuman, author of "The Small-Mart Revolution," who served as a resource during the Board of Aldermen retreat back in January.

To read the column, go here. You can also read and comment on the N&O's OrangeChat.

Let me add to what is in the column that many of the ideas are not new to our area. Some of our most heralded economic success stories -- Weaver Street Market, Carrboro's Revolving Loan Fund, the Farmer's Market, Piedmont Biofuels -- are along the lines of the local living economy model. The recent Culture Shock initiative is also very much along these lines.

Local leaders meet with Rep. Price on Shearon Harris

Last Friday, delegates from six local government bodies met with Congressman David Price to discuss concerns about fire safety and related issues at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant. Of particular focus was the concern that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has not been fulfilling its responsibility for regulatory enforcement. Since the chemical plant fire in Apex, safety questions at Shearon Harris have garnered increased local scrutiny as have uncertainties surrounding evacuation procedures.

In attendance were:
Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill Town Council
Randy Voller, Mayor of Pittsboro
Mike Nelson, Orange County Commission
Tom Vanderbeck, Chatham County Commission
Mike Gering, Hillsborough Board of Commissioners
Dan Coleman, Carrboro Board of Aldermen
[Jim Warren of NCWARN also attended as a resource]

In addition to the fire safety issue, the following areas were discussed:
-spent fuel storage
-adequacy of evacuation planning
-threats to nuclear facilities



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