Stormwater pollution case in Virginia misses the point

A recent Clean Water Act case in northern Virginia has been capturing attention because it deals with the regulation of stormwater pollution. The case, Virginia Department of Transportation versus Environmental Protection Agency (PDF), is broken down nicely by AWS colleague Jon Devine of the Natural Resources Defense Council on their Switchboard blog:

At its core, the decision said that the Environmental Protection Agency couldn’t use stormwater volume as a proxy for sediment pollution when developing a cleanup target (known in Clean Water Act jargon as a “total maximum daily load” or “TMDL”) for Accotink Creek, a tributary to the Potomac River.

Sustainable SITES Project at the GW House

By Alex Galbreath, AWS Fall Stewardship Intern

AWS is in the process of constructing a bioretention area and installing permeable pavement at its headquarters, the George Washington House. The project is part of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. The aim of the project here at the GW house is to reduce runoff and erosion while capturing rainwater for irrigation purposes.

Hurricane Sandy's Impact on the Anacostia Watershed


View of the Anacostia River under the South Capitol St Bridge.

Stormwater Management and Climate Change

By Michael Schramm, Stewardship Intern

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that it is likely that a current 1-in-20-year annual maximum daily precipitation amount will become a 1-in-5 to a 1-in-15-year event by the end of the 21st century. The Mid-Atlantic region is anticipated to face less frequent but more intense precipitation events as a result of increased air temperatures, which in turn increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. We can expect longer dry periods, with more intense and extreme rainfall between those dry periods by the end of this century.

Understanding the Anacostia’s Water Quality Report Card

During Earth Month AWS released the second annual State of the Anacostia River report card. The river received an overall water quality score of C- based on the parameters we assessed. But what does that really mean?

Rally for Clean Water, Annapolis


Gov. Martin O'Malley takes the stage to address the crowd.

Organized by Clean Water, Healthy Families (a coalition of environmental organizations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, of which AWS is a member), on March 28, 2012, more than 100 people gathered in front of the Maryland State House (an area known as the Lawyer’s Mall) advocating for clean water legislation. Currently there are 3 bills moving through the Maryland General Assembly that would protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, helping to make them safe to swim and fish in, create jobs, reduce stormwater runoff, and protect public health:

Happy World Soil Day!


A "sediment beach" at Bladensburg Waterfront Park that appears during low tide on the Anacostia River.

Soil is one of our most basic natural resources; it is the sustenance of biodiversity and our food.  And, without biodiversity, there is no clean water!  As you all know, the loss of top soil caused by water erosion -- caused by poor land management -- is one of the main reasons why the Anacostia River is in the shape it's in.  Check out this cool video, and more related videos can be found here.

Collapsing Infrastructure - the Power of Concentrated Stormwater Runoff in Streams

 


April 28, 2011: Highly Exposed Sewer Pipe was identified
by AWS, in the Takoma Tributary of Sligo Creek in
Prince George’s County, Maryland.

 


August 9, 2011: This pipe was fine or there was no change

until this time.

 


August 17, 2011: A portion of concrete was peeled off.

Prince George’s County Clean Water Forum This Thursday 11/10

Co-sponsors: Clean Water Action, Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership, Anacostia Watershed Society

Free And Open To The Public – Refreshments Served!

Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011                                                        
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Forest Heights Mayor’s Office
5508 Arapahoe Drive
Forest Heights, MD  20745 (map)
Click here to download the event flyer

Frequency – Another Keyword to Restore Our Streams

 


Badly Eroded Stream Bank on the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia.
The height of the bank is about 6 ft.

The words of Volume and Velocity penetrated into environmental and other conservation communities as keywords to restore our streams.  However, here is another keyword that is still not yet well-known. 

The word is Frequency

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