Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has asked the state to lift restrictions on water connections in the Goose Creek watershed that were imposed because of an endangered mussel.
The state allowed the utility in 2002 to pipe up to 33 million gallons a day from the Catawba River into the Yadkin River basin, which includes eastern Mecklenburg County. But the state excluded Goose Creek, home of the endangered Carolina heelsplitter.
New water connections would hasten development around Goose Creek, the state reasoned, washing pollutants into the creek that would hurt the mussel’s chance of survival.
The utility has asked the state Environmental Management Commission to lift that restriction.
Since 2002, it says, steps have been taken to protect the mussel.
Mint Hill, which is part of the Goose Creek watershed, passed an ordinance to control stormwater that could reach the creek.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services completed a Goose Creek management plan.
Mecklenburg County and the state environmental agency produced plans to improve water quality in the creek.
An environmental study done for the N.C. Division of Water Resources concluded that removing the restriction would do “insignificant” harm in light of those measures.
A public hearing will be 7 p.m. March 4 at Mint Hill Town Hall.