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LINC'ed IN: November 16, 2012 

Out and About in North Carolina

 League Transportation Forum Tackles Tough Topics - Over 100 municipal officials representing more than 50 cities and towns met in Raleigh Wednesday to confer with NCDOT and General Assembly leadership to define the future role of cities in funding transportation maintenance and construction efforts.  Currently, many cities are paying more and more to maintain and enhance state owned transportation infrastructure within city limits using local revenue sources  due to shortfalls in state and federal funding.  As transportation reforms loom for the 2013-14 Session of the General Assembly, cities and towns will be fully engaged in working with Governor-elect McCrory, General Assembly leadership, and the NCDOT, to craft solutions that help provide needed transportation infrastructure to bolster economic development opportunities and improve quality of life within North Carolina hometowns.  News coverage of the event is here.  Contact: Paul Meyer

Advocacy Goals Process Moving Forward - The NCLM Board of Directors will consider 75 goals recommended by the Legislative Action Committees, and 14 goals from the Regulatory Action Committee at its meeting today (November 16).  After reviewing all the submitted goals, the Board will select 50 goals to be considered by the entire League membership at the Advocacy Goals Conference, to be held January 24, 2013 at the Raleigh Convention Center.  Expect to see a list of the proposed goals in early December. The AGC will kick-off with a pre-game reception the evening of January 23.  More information to follow – Get in the Game! Registration for the Advocacy Goals Conference opens today.

Durham Council Takes Position on Jordan Lake - Durham City Council members publicly discussed their preferred position on future legislative changes to the Jordan Lake Rules this week. The Durham Herald-Sun reported that the council supported having the water quality rules remain in place, but was also supportive of modifications to the implementation of the rules. The League had solicited the positions of all elected officials in the Jordan watershed in anticipation of proposals for further changes to the landmark nutrient management strategy, which was first approved in 2009. Contact: Erin Wynia

Legislative Interests in Water Supply - Legislators continued their interest in the state’s water supply yesterday, receiving several presentations that pointed out legal gaps in the state’s water supply policy. After several speakers pointed out the particular legal vulnerabilities of public water systems in having an assured water supply, legislators stated that they would prefer to address the issue through legislation rather than depend on court decisions (“Water Rights Hang in Balance,” LINC’ed In, October 19). Already, the League is working with legislators and partners such as the N.C. Chamber on legislation for next session, with a goal of maximizing use of existing supplies to ensure a stable supply of water for businesses, industries, and residents. Contact: Erin Wynia

Uranium Mining Concerns - Legislative leaders on environmental issues outlined steps to communicate concerns regarding potential uranium mining on the N.C.-Virginia border at their meeting of the legislative Environmental Review Commission (ERC) yesterday. Hazards from uranium mining operations, soon to be considered for legalization by the Virginia General Assembly, stem from the practice of storing mining waste products, or “uranium tailings,” in surface storage ponds. These hazardous wastes remain radioactive for thousands of years. Unlike uranium mines in the comparatively arid western states, any mines in the eastern U.S. are vulnerable to heavy rains and hurricanes. State environment officials told the legislative panel that a strong rain event could potentially wash the radioactive waste into N.C. drinking water supplies such as Kerr Lake – a catastrophe that could entail years of cleanup. ERC members will write a letter to the N.C. congressional delegation outlining these concerns, and the ERC will also likely recommend a resolution of opposition for the full N.C. General Assembly to approve. Contact: Erin Wynia

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! - In this busy holiday (election) season, we would like to take a moment to say how thankful we are for North Carolina hometowns.  Thank you to each and every one of you for working diligently with us throughout the year as we all strive to keep North Carolina the great state that she is. We wish you safe travels and a peaceful day of Thanksgiving.

Coming Soon

General Assembly - Full Legislative Calendar

Ecological Flows Science Advisory Board, November 27, 9:00 am, Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

Environmental Management Commission, December 3, 1:00 pm (tentative), Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

DWQ Nutrient Criteria Implementation Plan public meeting, December 4, 2:00 pm, Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

Nutrient Science Advisory Board, December 7, 9:30 am, Triangle J Council of Governments Meeting Room, Durham

DWQ Nutrient Criteria Implementation Plan public meeting, December 12, Eastern N.C. (time and location TBD)

State Water Infrastructure Commission, December 14, 10:00 am, Green Square, Raleigh

DWQ Nutrient Criteria Implementation Plan public meeting, December 17, Western N.C. (time and location TBD)

Mining & Energy Commission committee meetings, December 18, 9:00 am, Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

Mining & Energy Commission, December 19, 9:00 am, Archdale Building Ground Floor Hearing Room, Raleigh

NCLM Advocacy Goals Conference, January 23 Evening Reception, January 24 Conference, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh