The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted Santa Fe a $150,000 toolkit to manage stormwater pollution as part of a pilot program with four other communities. The toolkit includes a step-by-step guide to help the community develop long-term stormwater plans, a web-based program for planning and technical assistance for Santa Fe to develop a model for other neighboring communities. Santa Fe will also receive support from the New Mexico Environment Department.
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“We are taking an approach that was built on input from states, communities, industry, academia and nonprofits,” said Rod Curry, the regional administrator for the EPA. “These tools will promote the use of flexible solutions that spur economic growth, stimulate infrastructure investments and help compliance with environmental requirements.”
Santa Fe is currently developing an integrated plan that takes int account its environmental responsibilities required by the Clean Water Act, including stormwater management. The state of New Mexico and the city of Santa Fe are thrilled that Santa Fe was selected as a pilot community for the use of EPA’s tools and technical assistance. The EPA will head the project while coordinating with the city manager’s office. The state of New Mexico will also provide assistance.
“We are delighted to be working with the EPA and New Mexico Environment Department on this forward-thinking project,” commented Javier M. Gonzales, mayor of Santa Fe. “This community owes so much of our history and culture to our river, and as mayor I am always looking for ways to work together with those who would restore the river’s physical beauty and biodiversity as it creates jobs and honors our heritage.”
All five pilot communities, which includes Santa Fe, will serve as the “beta testers” for EPA’s web-based toolkit, which will be refined and released more broadly in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Every year, billions of gallons of runoff laden with trash, nutrients, metals, and other pollutants flow into waterways. Stormwater runoff is one of the fastest growing sources of pollution across the country and has been known to overwhelm wastewater systems and overflow sewers.
A lot of cities are utilizing green infrastructure as part of an in-depth, continuing approach to managing stormwater. Cities are discovering the perks from such management going well beyond helping to meet regulatory requirements. Hazards are now being turned into opportunities. Comprehensive, continuing programs can create smart investments by tying together multiple community objectives like street improvements, outdoor open spaces, greenways or recreation areas, as well as community revitalization.