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New stormawater run-off rules cause concern

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WILMINGTON -- Thursday we told you about new state rules proposed to protect coastal waterways from stormwater run-off. Some members of the North Carolina Coastal Federation have concerns about how the rules are being received by county commissioners. Mike Giles from the Coastal Federation said he was concerned the county commissioners voted to hear further information about the proposed rules from the state and that the issue wasn't on a recent meeting's agenda. Friday the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Bobby Greer responded. He says at the board's work session last week he and the other members did make it known to the public that they were going to discuss the issue of the proposed stormwater run-off rules. But it wasn't added to the paper agenda. The rules would implement stricter building regulations near waterways and Greer says he has some concerns about what that means for the region. He said, "We're all concerned with water quality and we want to do what's right. But again we have to have some realistic numbers in place and I don't know how that will affect this. I think we all need to study it and make sure it's all what we want before we ask the legislature to pass something." Giles fears the commissioners are feeling pressure from the homebuilders association. Greer and people from the HBA deny that. However, a sign outside the HBA building clearly pledges support for Commissioner Bill Kopp. At this point the commissioners say they are not taking sides on the issue, they are simply waiting to learn more from the state.

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