Slowing the Flow

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To combat the onslaught of polluted runoff that is fouling our rivers, streams, and Chesapeake Bay, counties throughout Virginia are using funding received through the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund on innovative projects to slow the flow.

The Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) provides matching grants to help localities install efficient and effective pollution-control measures. Practices such as stream restorations, constructed wetlands, and permeable pavement hold, absorb, or filter rainwater before it washes pollution into waterways. These projects also reduce flooding and beautify neighborhoods.

SLAF is already making a big difference on the ground. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has awarded grants to 175 projects in 49 localities since the program began in 2014. The result? Over 14,000 pounds of phosphorus kept out of local waterways each year as of 2016.

But the future of this program is at risk. Unfortunately, the state did not invest in SLAF for fiscal year 2018. Cities and counties depend on these matching grants to meet goals for reducing pollution in local rivers and streams. CBF will continue to work with elected officials to ensure next year's General Assembly invests in this vital program.

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