Monday, May 10, 2010

New Stormwater Management Regulations in Maryland

Edmonston "Green Street" Stormwater Management Project Initiated

New environmental regulations adopted during the 2010 legislative session in Maryland require developers to slow the rate at which rainwater flows from streets and driveways in neighborhoods. The goal is to reduce pollutants going into the Chesapeake Bay by passing the water through soil and other natural filters. In the past, stormwater management consisted mostly of digging ponds at low points in communities in order to collect runoff. The new regulations decentralize the practice, spreading out devices and using new techniques throughout residential and commercial properties to ease the flow of water. Developers will also use of rain gardens and porous pavement to soak water into soil.

Edmonston Mayor Adam Ortiz & Lisa P. Jackson
Edmonston's "Green Street" project will retrofit Decatur Street with environmentally-friendly features with rain gardens and bioretention ponds to capture storm water runoff. Half of the road surface will be replaced with permeable pavement that will allow rainwater to soak into the ground. Low-energy street lamps will replace current ones. The project will cost more than $1 million, much of which comes from federal Stimulus Act money and a $25,000 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to get the project started. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson appeared at a groundbreaking evernt on November 24, 2009 along with other federal and local officials.

Edmonston has been plagued with flooding for years due to poor a storm water management system. The green street project is projected to capture up to 90 percent of the storm water runoff. Edmonston is small town of about 1,400 people, whose population is a third white, a third black and a third Latino. (Maryland Daily Record, 5/9/2010, Maryland Gazette, 12/3/2010)

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