ACTION ALERT Crossroads ACTION ALERT
There is abundant evidence that the major cause of coastal water degradation is runoff caused by excessive impervious surfaces in developed areas. Most recent development in the coastal area has been done under the “low-density” option which does not require stormwater controls within ½ mile of shellfish waters (SA) unless the built-upon area exceeds 25%. The new coastal area rule would require stormwater controls if the built-upon area exceeds 12%.
Currently stormwater permits are required if more than 1 acre of land is disturbed. The new rules would change this to 10,000 square feet (about ¼ acre).
Within ½ mile of SA waters, existing permit rules require stormwater runoff from the first 11/2 inches of rain be controlled. The draft rules require runoff from the present standard or the 1-year, 24-hour storm (generally 3-4 inches), whichever is greater, to be controlled.
ALL wetlands, not just coastal marsh, should be excluded from the built-upon area calculation.
The required buffer distance from waterways should be 50’ rather than 30’.
The crucial point is that if we don’t strengthen the present runoff rules, our coastal waters will continue to degrade. It is essential that we afford them more protection. Some local governments apparently are unwilling to adopt stormwater or development controls that go beyond state rules and have consistently opposed increased protection of our water quality. For example, the County weakened water-quality protection policies in the current draft County Land Use Plan and largely ignored Down-East problems. We need better state regulations if local governments fail to act.
Please attend and comment. If you cannot do so, comments can be sent to Tom Reeder at: firstname.lastname@example.org until October 15.