A controversial sewage pumping station on polluted Lick Creek got sent back to the drawing board this morning by Durham's Development Review Board.
Lick Creek is in far-eastern Durham County and flows into Falls Lake, reservoir for the city of Raleigh.
City/County planning director Steve Medlin said there was no date set for a re-hearing. The earliest the pumping station plan could come back for development review is Sept. 5.
Lick Creek is listed as a “303d” stream, meaning that it does not meet water-quality standards under the federal Clean Water Act, and states are required to improve them.
The sewage station’s planned site includes 9.25 acres in the Lick Creek floodway, according to the application filed by Horvath Associates, the project’s engineers.
City/County planner Susan Harrison-Brown and Durham County erosion-control manager Chris Roberts, in written comments, raised several issues with the plant’s design and siting. County resident Tina Motley-Pearson raised concerns about nearby wetlands at the review board meeting Friday.
According to the state water-quality division, Lick Creek has “impaired biological integrity” due to stormwater runoff. In the past five years, subdivision development has been intense in eastern Durham County, where Triassic Basin soils are particularly subject to erosion by water runoff, according to Duke University scientists Duncan Heron and Curtis Richardson.
The Clean Water Act requires states to list impaired waters and make plans to improve them. A $539,000 restoration project is being designed for a 4,000-foot section of Lick Creek just upstream from the sewage station site, and another restoration project is in planning stages through the Upper Neuse River Basin Association and Triangle J Council of Governments.
After in Motley-Pearson’s presentation, designer Ron Horvath requested a deferral to modify the plan. The board approved deferral by a 5-4 vote.