WNC Citizens Blog

Dangerous Drought Bill Advances Past Second Reading

House Bill 2499 [HTML Version] [PDF Download] has advanced past it's second reading in the General Assembly.

In the following article, all sections in red are direct quotes from the legislation.

The bill has the innocuous-sounding title "
AN ACT to improve Drought preparedness and response in North Carolina, as recommended by the Environmental review commission."

Here are just a few of the more egregious items I found with the legislation:

Section 4. (a):
(9) Any member of the Commission or any person authorized by it, shall have the right to enter upon any private or public lands or waters for the purpose of making investigations and studies reasonably necessary in the gathering of facts concerning streams and watersheds, subject to responsibility for any damage done to property entered.

Yay! Shoot The Trespassers!!!I wonder if this includes posted land. And you can guarantee this will be just another camel nose under the tent that will further threaten our nearly non-existent property rights.

And if you want to have nightmares, just read the amended § 143‑355.2. Water conservation measures for drought, which includes measures for requiring local governments to implement water conservation measures whether they are in a drought condition or not, at the discretion of the Secretary. This includes water source restrictions in multiple counties or municipalities when one are has been declared to be in drought, and the neighboring area is not.

And here is the biggie: SECTION 6. The Environmental Review Commission, as part of its ongoing study of the allocation of water resources in the State required by Section 1 of S.L. 2007‑518, shall study whether and to what extent private groundwater wells and the use of water produced by private groundwater wells should be regulated by the State or units of local government. The Environmental Review Commission shall report its findings and recommendations, including any legislative proposals, to the General Assembly as provided by Section 1 of S.L. 2007‑518, as amended.

Here is the smoking gun that was denied earlier...the regulation of private wells. The State of North Carolina will be investigating whether or not they will regulate your private wells, and that includes putting meters on wells, no matter what Joe Sam Queen said in this Sound Off Buncombe Video. How else will the State of North Carolina determine your water usage unless they put a meter on the wells?

People, this should be the time we pick up our pitch forks, torches, and buckets of tar to let our elected representatives in Raleigh know that we are watching them, and we are not happy.

There is much more that is wrong with this bill, especially in the enforcement section where fines and penalties are spelled out.

Here is how the western delegation of the NC House voted last night on this legislation:


Bob England (D-112)

Susan Fisher

Bruce Goforth (D-115)

Phillip Haire (D-119)

Ray Rapp


Phillip Frye (R-84)

Carolyn Justus (R-117)

Trudi Walend

Roger West (R-120)


Charles Thomas

You can click on the links to find out how to get in touch with the representatives, and be polite with regardless of how they voted. Get your point across politely.

I live in Alabama and just recently heard 'rumors' that NC passed legislation requiring private wells to be metered in order to monitor water usage. Can you confirm or refute that NC will be installing meters on private wells? I ask because we are faced with something similar in Alabama.




I can neither confirm nor refute.

The elected types are saying that it won't come to that, although the legislation passed gave the state the ability to check on any source of water, regardless if it is on private land...and that the state would pay damages to any necessary property damage that occurred while said investigator was seeking to examine water sources.

Feel free to contact me for me to send you to more knowledgeable people at wnccb AT yahoo Dot com.

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This used to be one of several political commentary blogs I ran until I got tired of updating several blogs, and consolidated them on Thunder Pig, and moved the group blogs to a Ning network.

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