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. In the existing budget, the General Assembly appropriated $20 million for fiscal year 2019, but nothing for fiscal year 2020. We urge legislators to invest $50 million in SLAF this General Assembly session.

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