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Cuccinelli vs. EPA Stormwater Case Verdict is In

Yesterday in a Federal court room in Alexandria, Virginia US District Judge Liam O'Grady ruled against the US EPA and in favor of VDOT and Fairfax County. The EPA had sought restrictions on stormwater flows of the Accotick Creek in Fairfax County in order to reduce sediment flow. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli led the case representing VDOT and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors who challenged the EPA's claim that stormwater should be regulated as a pollutant. O'Grady said in his ruling that "Stormwater runoff is not a pollutant, so EPA is not authorized to regulate it." Cuccinelli and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell stated that the EPA regulation would have cost Virginia taxpayers in Fairfax alone in excess of $300 million if the ruling were in favor of EPA and addional costs apporaching $100 million to retrofit and redesign VDOT projects to comply. Additional details of the case are addressed in today's...

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Virginia Beach’s Lynnhaven River – Progress In the Making

Reducing the discharge of pollutants  to our waterways does result in a revitalization of the associated ecosystems.  That progress can seem slow; however, since the pollutants were released over several decades the cleanup will likely require a similar timeframe.  Implementation of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL will address the release of nitrates, phosphorous and sediment to the Bay from both point and nonpoint sources.  The following article discusses the Lynnhaven River and notes that visible progress can be made in less than a decade.  Compliance with the Bay TMDL will present difficult choices and potential for increased expenditures.   When compliance results in visible progress at the scale of the Bay and elsewhere throughout Virginia, similar to that seen locally on the Lynnhaven River, then the cost/benefit will become more palatable.  The complexity of the Bay ecosystem and the uncertainties associated with the model used to evaluate the health of the Bay and the...

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