Direct advocacy with communities on the ground for safe water and clean air is just one part of our Environmental Justice work!
Policy development is a key aspect to ensure meaningful, sustainable change. We are excited to share our Well User Protection policy recommendations with our membership & NC legislators in 2022!
Almost one third of North Carolinians rely on private wells for their drinking water - a source that is not protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
In partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill and the statewide Well Water Working Group, our team at CWFNC has developed two policy recommendations that we will be publishing in 2022 with the goal of raising support for these protections on the state level.
Increased Funding for Private Well Tests
Cost can be a major barrier for regular testing of private wells, particularly for low-income households. We believe this obstacle can be addressed by the Bernard Allen Fund, created in 2006 to improve the state’s response to private well water contamination and provide low-income households with a safe drinking water supply. Recommendations for the Fund include increasing funding available, providing a public application, increasing the household income limit or providing a sliding scale, and further addressing testing of naturally-occurring contaminants to better address threats to safe drinking water for well users.
Requiring Well Testing Before a Real Estate Transaction
A safe drinking water supply is essential to human health as well as protecting the value of residential property. If a real estate transfer is finalized before the property owner or renter discovers that the groundwater is contaminated, there may be limited options to remediate the issue. CWFNC believes that adequate testing is essential to due diligence prior to the purchase or rental of any property supplied by a private drinking water well, and is exploring policy initiatives in other states to help develop a similar policy recommendation here in NC.
Thank you to all our new and recurring members for sustaining our Well User Protection policy work in 2021! We look forward to sharing more of this work and with you into the New Year!
If you haven't given yet, consider donating to Clean Water for NC today and receive a tax deduction before the end of the year!