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Hope for saving salmon lies in reducing stormwater pollution

Salmon exposed to toxic stormwater can die in a matter of hours. But preliminary new findings by Washington State University (WSU; Seattle) researchers suggest that bioretention systems, such as rain gardens, that filter out contaminants from stormwater runoff are key for preventing lethal impacts on fish, according to a WSU press release. Effective bioretention systems […]

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New stormwater facility to improve Puget Sound water quality

Metro Parks Tacoma and the City of Tacoma have built a 510-m2 (5500-ft2) stormwater treatment system at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Wash. The system will filter stormwater runoff from a 305-ha (754-ac) watershed that protects Puget Sound from water pollution. Funded by a grant from the state Department of Ecology, the goal of the […]

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Oregon Proposes Water Quality Trading Rules

On Dec. 10, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced rules for developing a voluntary water quality trading program to facilitate pollution reduction and protect the quality of state waterways. The rulemaking addresses essential elements of DEQ’s water quality trading program, with appropriate standards for accountability, enforceability, and provisions to ensure transparency. A lack […]

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Farmers Flood Fields To Replenish Groundwater

This winter, some California farmers will be flooding their fields to replenish groundwater. El Niño is expected to deliver a warmer, wetter winter season to California, and farmers are hoping to capitalize on the extra water by directing floodwater and stormwater to their fields. The water will percolate through the soil and into the aquifer […]

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Mussels Track Stormwater Pollution in Puget Sound

In late October, volunteers deployed Penn Cove mussels in 73 locations to evaluate the health of nearshore Puget Sound environments. The mussels will help track what contaminants are present in runoff over Washington State’s rainy fall and winter seasons. They also will help researchers determine how well stormwater management efforts are working. Mussels do not […]

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California Microbead Ban Closes Biodegradable Loophole

On Oct. 8, California became the ninth state to impose restrictions on microbeads. The ban, to become effective Jan. 1, 2020, targets the sale and distribution of synthetic beads used as exfoliates or colorants. California joins Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, and Wisconsin in the ban on microbeads. However, six state bans […]

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Injunction Prevents Clean Water Rule from Taking Effect in 13 States

On Aug. 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army’s Clean Water Rule went into effect in 37 states. The rule is intended to clarify which waters fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. However, a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota blocked implementation of […]

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Seattle Sets Sights on Green Infrastructure Target

In 2013, the City of Seattle agreed to reduce sewer overflows to comply with state and federal law. Seattle City Council Resolution 31459 created a city policy to adopt green infrastructure, such as bioretention swales, street trees, rain gardens, cisterns, green roofs, and permeable pavement, to manage stormwater. The resolution set a target for the […]

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California Supreme Court To Review Ruling on Discharge Permit Fees

The California Supreme Court has granted a petition from the California Building Industry Association to review a state appeals court ruling that total fees collected from waste discharges must match the costs of regulating the entire waste-discharge permit program, rather than matching stormwater fees to the costs of the stormwater program. Currently, permit fees paid […]

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Nine Nationwide Nonpoint Solutions

Nine case studies show how communities across the U.S. are developing tools to overcome stormwater challenges. These solutions will be presented at the 2015 Stormwater Congress.

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