COMPLIANCE WITH JORDAN LAKE NUTRIENT STRATEGY RULESIn August 2009, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Jordan Lake Nutrient Management Strategy, commonly known as the Jordan Lake Rules. The rules mandate reducing pollution from wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, agriculture and fertilizer application in both new and existing development within the Jordan Lake watershed. New buffer (streamside vegetation) requirements will affect how property owners maintain and develop their land. Areas of the lake experience frequent algal blooms due to overloads of nitrogen and phosphorous. The algal blooms can cause taste and odor problems in drinking water, kill or stress aquatic life, and can release toxins into the water. Riparian buffers are important in providing vegetation to filter stormwater runoff and to stabilize streambanks. They reduce erosion and sedimentation and the corresponding pollutants that flow into streams and the lake.
JORDAN LAKE UPDATESIf nutrient load reductions in the Lower New Hope and Haw River arms (Guilford and four local governments you implement for are in Haw River arm) are not reached by March 1, 2017, then a Stage 2 program will be required of local governments to further reduce nutrient loading. Also attached is Session Law on the section of the Jordan Rules that addresses nutrient load reduction for existing development (Stage 1 and Stage 2 programs) — please see page 2. While I have highlighted some key sections, I strongly recommend that you read and retain the entire document to help clarify any questions or concerns. Based on the timeline included in the rules, the earliest Guilford County would have to implement Stage 2 (if required) is late 2018.NOTE: The Jordan Rules session laws, state codes and all other information are available in their entirety at www.jordanlake.org.Regarding the entire retrofit identification process for the Stage 1 annual report: The intent of this portion of the Jordan Rules is for local governments to be prepared if and when further nutrient load reductions are required. The Jordan Rules DO NOT require local governments to install the exact same retrofits that are identified during Stage 1 in annual reports. Instead, local governments have the option of identifying and implementing alternative BMPs that meet the required reduction levels — if and when — Stage 2 is required.
DEVELOPMENT/PLANNING FORMS FOR JORDAN LAKE BUFFER RULES:
- NOTICE OF EXEMPTION
- REQUEST FOR STREAM DETERMINATION
- STREAM BUFFER USE REQUEST FORM
TABLE OF USES
Exempt: allowed in the Buffer – (does not require approval)
Allowable: may occur within the buffer provided there are no practical alternative – (requires written approval)
Allowable with mitigation: may proceed within the buffer provided that there are no practical alternatives and a mitigation strategy has been approved – (requires written approval)
Uses not listed in the table are prohibited and further:
- Require a variance
- Mitigation may be required
Documentation of “No Practical Alternatives” process
- The basic project purpose cannot be practically accomplished in a manner that would better minimize disturbance, preserve aquatic life and habitat, and protect water quality;
- The use or activity cannot practically be reduced in size or density, reconfigured, modified or redesigned to better minimize disturbance, preserve aquatic life and habitat, and protect water quality; and
- Best management practices shall be used as necessary to minimize disturbance, preserve aquatic life and habitat, and protect water quality.
*Written Approval – “Buffer Use Authorization” must be granted by Guilford County before any construction process can begin within streamside zones.
60 Days will be given to review application and take necessary action with anyone of the following:
- Issue a Authorization Certificate
- Notify Applicant of Incomplete application and request more information (example provided)
- Deny request
Failure to take any action within 60 days is considered automatic approval unless:
- Applicant agrees to extended timeline in writing
- Public hearing is required by local government
DOCUMENTING BUFFER DETERMINATIONS
According to Section 15A NCAC 02B .0267(h) Local governments shall maintain on-site records for a minimum of five years, and shall furnish a copy of these records to the Division within 30 days of receipt of written request for them. Local programs’ records shall include the following: (v) Records for stream origin calls and stream ratings.