|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|
Hands Across the Lake is a local community group that addresses pollution of the Swift Creek Reservoir in Chesterfield County.
Stormwater Pollutes Reservoirs
• Storm water pollutes. If phosphorus pollution from runoff increases to high it will cause County officials close Swift Creek Reservoir which supplies drinking water. Sediment from runoff already caused Falling Creek Reservoir to close.*
• While sewage treatment plants and farms have greatly reduced their runoff pollution levels, urban and suburban stormwater pollution is increasing and this affects all of Virginia's Waters from our water reservoir to the Chesapeake Bay.
• The county measured phosphorus run off at only 0.12 lbs of phosphorous per acre per year out of a stream in Brandermill, a community that has saved a high percentage of the original trees. This is much lower runoff than areas with mostly roads rooftops and parking lots. Streams in Brndermill are tree lines with walking paths.
• In contrast, land cleared with no tree buffers has been photographed turning waters cloudy with sediments during the construction phases.
The Proposed Legislation will Help Counties Prevent Storm Water Pollution
• Requiring counties to have a local program to address stormwater quality would ensure that counties like Chesterfield budget time and money to mitigate storm water runoff to meet the needs for clean water for the county.
• Providing Chesterfield County with 70% of the stormwater fees would help Chesterfield have funding for the program. Chesterfield will have to hire sediment control experts and more inspectors to fully implement this program.
• A state mandate is needed to lower the phosphorous limit to 0.28 lbs per acre per year. Our group found it difficult to get the county to lower the limit because of pressure from local developers. We kept the level at the current state mandate even though VCU Scientist , Leonard Smock, said to use the lower standard to protect the reservoir and a very successful community in Chesterfield had a 0.12 Lbs per acre measured phosphorous level.
• We could save our county money and effort if we could just use one manual written for the State of Virginia. Chesterfield will spend a lot of money and effort to develop our own Low Impact Development Manual to contain stormwater.
• As a final note, these new stormwater guides will save county budgets because a home built without containing the stormwater onsite "costs that locality $1600 more than is returned in taxes and other revenues” said a Prince William County, Virginia report in 1998**.
*(See Page 6 in this link)http://www.deq.state.va.us/wqa/pdf/303d/factsheets/jamesfs.pdf
**Pg 24 http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_&_water/documents/swmecon.pdf