|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|
Storm water regulations do make sense. Living in an older community south of Alexandria, Virginia on the Richmond Highway/Route 1 corridor offers a classic example of the negative impact brought about by less than adequate regulated development. All of the small streams that drain to the Potomac River along this highway corridor are degraded and getting worse. The storm water infrastructure that was built during the time our area was developed treated storm water as a nuisance to be dealt with by directing it to the closest streams with no consideration for water quality or quantity impacts on the streams. Streams that once thrived with living things are now devoid of life. Communities that historically did not flood now flood. The developers did their projects, made their profits and left. A half a century later we now understand how what they did has resulted in eroded stream banks, degraded water quality, and flooding due to increased volume of storm water entering streams. This has resulted in negative impacts on the quality of life in our community and damage to the larger Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay ecosystems. The degredation to these ecosystems is chronicled and irrefutable. It belies all logic to say that business interests should continue to supercede environmental interests at the beginning of the 21st Century.
The expense to correct the past wrongs and to retrofit the archaic and detrimental exisisting storm water infrastructure is phenomenal and is on the backs of citizens through what will have to be higher taxes. We will all pay now to fix the mistakes of the past. The developers of the 50's - 70's did not set out with intent to do the damage that has been done in that they were following the state and local regulations of the time. We now better understand the impact of development on ecosystems and the negative consequences that follow. With that understanding, new regulations based on science and reason make perfect sense. Why not pay up front for the preventive measures to protect our watersheds and ecosystems. Developers, business interests and state agencies that make their livings via housing, shopping cenetrs, industrial parks, roads and highways don't deserve a free pass on the environment in the interest of commerce and free enterprize. The State and counties can and should provide incentives to developers that build green. Anything less is simply passing the costs to fix an even greater mess onto the next generation