Virginia has approved new stormwater rules that will help reduce polluted runoff – the fastest-growing source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay – to the streams, creeks and rivers that feed the Bay.
The new rules will reduce by 38 percent the amount of phosphorus that flows from new development and redevelopment projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed portion of Virginia – about 60 percent of the state. Developers would have to install runoff-reducing practices, such as retention ponds and rain gardens that allow more water to soak into the ground. These practices reduce the amount of rain water that runs off roads and parking lots, picking up pollutants on its way into storm drains and local waterways.
Because of extensive changes to the regulations originally proposed, an additional public comment period will take place from Oct. 26 to Nov. 25. The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board plans to put the rules into place on or around Dec. 9.
“I am confident that, once finally adopted and implemented, these regulations will provide real benefits to the quality of our waters across the state and bring us closer to the elusive goal of a restored Chesapeake Bay,” said Preston Bryant, Virginia’s secretary of natural resources.
Get more information about the approved changes to Virginia’s stormwater regulations at the Virginia Association of Counties’ website.