|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|
I repeat here the comments I made at the July 14, 2009 hearing in Richmond:
I come from Charlottesville, where I make my home in the Rivanna watershed. I come before you today as a citizen to commend DCR for developing these stormwater regulations and urge their swift and complete adoption.
I understand that there are concerns about the impacts of these regulations on economic "growth," concerns about the resulting costs of building new houses and implementing redevelopment; concerns that these regulations will result in sprawl.
Here's what I am concerned about: I am concerned about the health of the streams in our relatively unspoiled watershed as well as the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
I am concerned about the costs, both now and in the future, to our localities, our families, and the generations to come in the Commonwealth of trying to clean up waterways that have become irreparably degraded.
I am concerned about the biologic integrity and ecologic resiliency of our Virginia waters and the protection of source water for drinking, recreation, and the aesthetic and commercial value that comes from rivers running clear and clean.
Among the ways that I understand first-hand the effects of stormwater is that I am a volunteer water quality monitor in our community. I monitor two sites that I test once each quarter. One is in the headwaters close to Shenandoah National Park where the waters run cool and clear under a tree canopy, recovered from early deforestation. The other site is on the Rivanna mainstem, downstream, close to where it enters the James. As I canoe down to this site, I see first-hand the inadequate upstream land and stormwater management: continually scoured banks, muddy waters, and algal growth in almost every season.
So, here's a new vision for the economic interests, the chambers of commerce, homebuilders and related business interests -- and indeed, for all of us.
These regulations provide an opportunity for the business community to do what it does best: innovate, problem solve, and apply ingenuity to craft solutions that both allow for the building of new houses and to provide the new technologies that will help us address environmental protection while creating attractive and livable communities.
These regulations provide an opportunity for Virginia to demonstrate its commitment to clean water and the ecological health of its landscapes and watersheds.
These regulations are one necessary and important step towards the challenge that we have before us with a growing number of impaired streams in every corner of the Commonwealth -- and the challenge that we have before us with a Chesapeake Bay that is dying before our eyes.