Matt Saldaña's latest Indy article (on our Triangulator blog, Feb. 17; see this week's update) underscores the 25-square-mile "donut hole"—roughly 25 percent of the city—in which no water quality control standards exist. Yup, that's right, none at all. We should all thank council members Diane Catotti and Mike Woodard for continuing to fight the good fight.
Already this week (and that's in just three days) I've read about developers threatening to move elsewhere if they are forced to adhere to environmental protections under consideration (both in Wake and Durham counties). If the whole Triangle imposes such environmental protections—and I don't think any of us have a choice—then in order to make good on their threat, the development industry will have to move to a less lucrative and growing area than Durham, which we all know isn't going to happen, particularly in the current economy.
Our past lack of environmental protections is going to cost Durham hundreds of millions to clean up the pollution already spilling out of developments that have been permitted in the last 10 to 20 years. Too bad we can't charge the developers for this cleanup. The least we can do is ensure that what little land we have left is developed the way it all should have been from the get-go.
Readers comment, complain and offer kudos on our Web site. Here's a sampling of comments this week; join the conversation.
Re: Curbing tailpipe emissions
[Quoting Bob Glaser, N.C. Automobile Dealers Association lobbyist]: "All of the big SUVs and big trucks won't qualify for this. The day of the F-250, the farm truck, the truck that pulls your boat [will be] over. You just won't be able to get them" ("Tailpipe emissions on the table," by Sam Wardle, Feb. 18). As Harry Truman would say, horse manure. The key word is "average" mileage. How many people own farms, or boats big enough to have to be pulled by a truck? Darn few. The domestic auto industry has got to wise up and stop trying to market huge guzzlers to the rest of us, or it's going the way of the woolly mammoth—killed off by smaller, more agile hunters. Sadly, it's almost there now. One ... last ... chance, friends.