Environmentalists protest last-minute changes to stormwater rules

by Steve Harrison (Charlotte Observer)

Some environmentalists are upset at last-minute changes to a city ordinance passed Monday that will allow developers to continue to pay a fee instead of storing and cleaning stormwater on-site.

The City Council approved a three-year extension for the waivers by a 7-4 vote Monday night.

Shannon Binns is executive director of the group Sustain Charlotte, which lobbied the City Council against making the waiver citywide.

If he had been allowed to speak Monday, Binns said he would have told council members the issue had already been studied in detail in 2008, when the policy was first enacted. He said he felt the prospect of additional meetings would put environmental groups at a disadvantage.

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