Press Release | November 6, 2009

Jordan Lake Petition Response Raises Questions

After Durham County miscounted properties belonging to petition signatories, its announcement yesterday that a citizens’ petition is invalid without specific explanation and citizens must sue for reconsideration only raises questions, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center and Haw River Assembly.
“It’s unfortunate that the county insists on court action by citizens for proper consideration of their petition instead of insisting on good and transparent governance,” said Kay Bond, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.
“The county’s dogged invalidation of a citizens’ petition without specific explanation and following its previous miscount is perplexing,” added Elaine Chiosso, Haw Riverkeeper, Haw River Assembly. “If the only way to achieve government accountability and transparency to citizens is through the courts, Durham’s in sad shape.”
Note to editors:
• A map showing the parcel of land mistakenly excluded by the Durham City-County Planning Department is available for press reports based on this release if appropriate citation is given. The map is available at and a high resolution version is also available by contacting [email protected]
• The protest petition filed with the Durham City-County Planning Department is available at
About Haw River Assembly The Haw River Assembly has been working since 1982 to protect the Haw River and Jordan Lake. Its members are advocates for clean water in the eight counties that make up this watershed, including Durham. HRA has been a leader in working for better protection of our public waters at the local, state and federal levels, and has some of the state’s oldest and largest volunteer stream monitoring, education, and river clean-up programs. HRA is a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. WEB:
About Southern Environmental Law Center The Southern Environmental Law Center is the only regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of 40 legal experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use.