Report Touts Significant Savings Through Stormwater Alternatives

A March 28 Richmond Times-Dispatch article discusses a recently released report on how local governments can reduce their costs, potentially by 50 to 85 percent, on stormwater runoff mitigation required under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and other clean water mandates.  The report was commissioned by the Virginia-based James River Association and conducted by the Maryland-based Center for Watershed Protection.  From the article:

Jeff Corbin, the Environmental Protection Agency’s senior adviser on the bay cleanup, called the report’s findings “pretty startling.”

“Of all the possible issues that could be seen as a thorn to localities with regards to the bay restoration, 99 percent of what we hear about are the costs associated with meeting stormwater goals,” Corbin said.

An 85 percent cut in costs could be optimistic, Corbin said, “but I’ll take a 50 percent reduction happily.”

The report calculates the costs of three possible scenarios for reducing stormwater runoff into the James River by the city of Richmond.  The report found that depending on the best management practices and approaches used, the costs could vary significantly.  According the to the report, the three scenarios resulted in a cost savings of  54 to 85 percent when compared to the initial stormwater mitigation estimate of $305 million that was presented to Virginia’s Senate Finance Committee in 2011.

Executive Summary of the Report

Full Report

March 28 Daily Record article on the report