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NC lawmakers vote to postpone lake cleanup

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina lawmakers have voted to postpone the costly cleanup of pollutants from the lake that provides drinking water to roughly 300,000 people in the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area.

The Senate voted 27-14 early Friday in favor of a House-backed bill that would delay for three years aspects of the cleanup of Jordan Lake that haven't yet begun.

The Republican-led Legislature backed the bill knowing it may conflict with the state's 2007 agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up nitrogen and phosphorous spilling into the lake.

Opponents of the agreement, including some local governments and businesses upstream as far away as Greensboro and Burlington, contend that anti-pollution regulations would hurt economic growth and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

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