Tighter Regulations Could Protect Shellfishing Industry

There's growing concern that all the development along our coastal waterways will spell disaster for another industry. There are already 365 thousand acres of waterways in Eastern Carolina that are permanently closed to shellfishing, which includes oysters, clams and mussels, because of pollution. Another 53 waterways were temporarily closed since last year for the same reason. Environmental officials say water quality data shows the number one source of the pollution is stormwater runoff from development. Now, state lawmakers have passed rules and regulations that would lay out rules for developers who disturb at least one acre of land in some counties. They would have to create and enforce a plan explaining how they intend to control rain and other water runoff. Officials with the North Carolina Home Builders Association say the rules and regulations they already follow are adequate, and that all of the pollution can't be coming from development.