|Action||Amend Parts I, II, and III of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations to address water quality and quantity and local stormwater management program criteria.|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/21/2009|
Community Alliance for Preservation (CAP), based in Rockingham County, strongly encourages the adoption of Virginia’s proposed stormwater management regulations. CAP is a nonprofit organization that works to increase citizen involvement in
Likewise, municipal wastewater treatment plants have been reducing their impact. Hundreds of millions of dollars from
However, data from the Chesapeake Bay Program indicates that water pollution from developed properties threatens to outpace the progress that’s being made with agriculture, industry, and wastewater treatment plants. As the fastest growing source of water pollution in our region, the Commonwealth must address pollution from stormwater runoff.
The proposed regulations represent a significant improvement over the existing program. And we support the three-year planning effort, with involvement from multiple stakeholders, which resulted in the proposed program. We understand that representatives from local government, engineers, economists, homebuilders, and researchers from Virginia Tech provided technical input to the program.
If we want to keep water quality at existing levels as growth and population increase, pollution from stormwater runoff for new development must decrease. If we hope to actually clean up impaired streams and rivers, pollution must decrease even more.
The Homebuilders Association of Virginia has made what they call a “counterintuitive” counter proposal. Though development interests were at the table as the DCR draft regulations were formulated, the Homebuilders Association now proposes to allow an increase in runoff pollution from developed sites. In return they would contribute funds to “assist in the construction of agricultural stormwater management facilities.” That sounds more than counterintuitive. That sounds like shifting the burden onto the backs of farmers.
Finally, CAP also supports a minor adjustment to the proposed regulation to ensure that it provides incentives for new development to occur in towns and cities, rather than in farms and forestland. DCR has signaled that it is willing to make minor tweaks to the program to address this concern, and we fully support this modification.
Agriculture and local governments are making strides toward clean water, but their efforts will not be enough. New development should do its part. We all want to see cleaner streams and rivers, and the state’s proposed stormwater program is a much-needed step in the right direction.
Please adopt and implement this important new program.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.