The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) finalized their recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed stormwater rulemaking at their last quarterly meeting held in Fredericksburg, VA on April 11-12, 2013.

EPA currently regulates stormwater (polluted water runoff) in areas that are densely populated and where there is already a serious problem. EPA is proposing revisions to its rule to help meet the growing concern of stormwater impacts on the health of streams and rivers. As impervious surfaces like roads, buildings and parking lots increase with new development, so does the amount of polluted runoff to waterways when rain water is not able to soak into the ground. LGAC recognizes that stormwater regulation reform has the potential to help communities address a growing source of water pollution and flooding while also potentially placing significant demands on local government resources. Among the LGAC recommendations are (1) the new stormwater rule include clear, achievable and flexible standards for the use of green infrastructure practices and (2) include coordination with state and federal agencies to remove barriers against green infrastructure techniques for new development and re-development projects.

To view the full letter of recommendations and meeting agenda, see the links on the top of the right sidebar.

LGAC has been a long-time proponent of  ‘green infrastructure’ practices that manage stormwater onsite. Green infrastructure is the practice of engineering landscapes that mimic natural systems, like using permeable paving or a garden designed to capture and infiltrate rain water. Many LGAC members have used green infrastructure in their communities. Green infrastructure approaches offer affordable, effective solutions to water pollution and flooding and create multiple benefits, including more livable neighborhoods, increased property values, more green jobs and reduced energy costs. To learn more about green infrastructure in an urban community, see the video on capturing stormwater naturally in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

LGAC is a volunteer committee of 21 locally elected officials appointed by the Governors of VA, MD, PA and the Mayor of DC to advise the leadership of the state-federal partnership of the Chesapeake Bay Program. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay provides professional staffing and technical services to LGAC in support of their mission to bring the voice of local government into the dialogue and implementation of programs and policies protecting the Chesapeake Bay and our region’s rivers and streams.