05/15/05 — Clean Water Trust board is with us

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Clean Water Trust board is with us

Trustees of the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund are meeting at Wayne Community College today and tomorrow.

In Goldsboro and Wayne County — and among our military citizens at Seymour Johnson AFB — the trustees will find themselves warmly welcomed.

Established by the General Assembly less than 10 years ago, the CWMTF was charged with “cleaning up pollution in the state’s surface water” and “protecting those waters not yet polluted.”

In its short history, the Trust Fund not only has addressed the water pollution issue but has taken the lead in creating and protecting our wetlands, promoting environmental consciousness from the mountains to the coast and enhancing the viability of our military installations.

The Clean Water Management Trust Fund is second to no other agency in demonstrating North Carolina’s commitment to environmental excellence.

One needs to but look at the record: It has been instrumental in preserving 273,000 acres of land needed to restore and protect water quality of streams, rivers and lakes. More than 3,000 miles of riparian buffers have been protected.

Over $100 million has been allocated to help communities better treat wastewater. Another $34.5 million has been spent to reduce pollution from urban runoff.

Our community was among the first beneficiaries. In 1997, the fund allotted $1.6 million to improve treatment of wastewater at the Goldsboro plant — a project that prevents release of 13,800 pounds of nitrogen into the Neuse River at Goldsboro annually.

In all, Goldsboro has been allocated more than $4 million. Just last year, the Trust Fund allocated $1.7 million to help Goldsboro and Wayne County acquire land adjoining creeks and encompassing Seymour Johnson AFB’s critical accident potential zone.

The acquisition will prevent development that could impinge on the Air Force’s ability to carry out its mission because of increased risk to civilians. The project also includes large-scale wetlands restoration that will improve water quality of Stony Creek and Walnut Creek, both of which flow into the nutrient-sensitive Neuse River.

Communities across the state have similar stories to tell.
The Trust Fund board meeting here is reviewing 100 applications totaling $172 million in statewide projects important to our ecosystem.

The CWMTF board is composed of outstanding citizens from across the state. Among them is our own Phillip Baddour Jr., a respected attorney and former majority leader of the N.C. House.

Bill Holman, who served in the cabinet of former Gov. Jim Hunt as secretary of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, is the Trust Fund’s executive director.

The Clean Water Management Trust Fund board members do us honor by meeting here. And the News-Argus is pleased to join our mayor and city council members, our county commissioners and all our citizens in welcoming them to our community.

Published in Editorials on May 15, 2005 12:01 AM