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E-M:/ Sen. Levin to vote on stormwater funding- calls needed immediately



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Subject: Phone Calls Needed Immediately To Senator Levin's Office to Protect Michigan's Waters

Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 15:41:48 -0400
Message-ID: <DBD35BAA2B21BD499681A934B56AF9BC011E6499@NYMAIL.nrdc.org>

Thread-Topic: Phone Calls Needed Immediately To Senator Levin's Office to Protect Michigan's Waters

From: "Klein, Josh" <jklein@nrdc.org>
To: "Klein, Josh" <jklein@nrdc.org>

In less than an hour the Senate will vote on the transportation bill that guides federal spending on highways. Currently, the bill includes a provision that will give local communities across America nearly $868 million in funds to mitigate for flooding and pollution caused by stormwater running off federally funded highways. This provision, the Highway Stormwater Discharge Mitigation Program, would provide $29 million over 5 years for Michigan to address these problems. It is essential that Senator Levin support this provision by voting NO to Sen. Bond?s amendment to strip the provision from the bill. These calls need to be made immediately!!!!

Please call Senator Levin at (202) 224-6221 and ask him to vote against any amendments to strike the Highway Stormwater Discharge Mitigation Program (Section 1620) from the Transportation Bill (S. 732).



MORE INFORMATION


Highway Stormwater Discharge Mitigation Program Section 1620 of SAFETEA, S. 732

Why stormwater runoff is a critical issue:
Ø Clean, safe water polls higher than any other environmental issue, including air quality or toxics among the general public.


Ø According to EPA, stormwater (?nonpoint?) runoff is the largest source of water pollution today. Urban stormwater runoff is a growing cause of beach closures and untreated sewage discharges, caused when stormwater overwhelms sewer pipes and treatment plants.

Ø Local communities bear the brunt of stormwater impacts, including local flooding, damage to infrastructure, such as bridge supports, and higher sewage treatment and drinking water filtration costs. More than 5,000 cities, towns, and counties must now meet Clean Water Act stormwater regulations, and many large cities already manage stormwater pollution in order to meet discharge permits and other Clean Water Act regulations. But there is no funding for localities to address these requirements.

Why funding for stormwater mitigation is needed in the transportation bill:
Ø Roads and related infrastructure, such as parking lots, comprise two-thirds of all paved surfaces. These hard surfaces are the primary source of stormwater runoff, preventing rainfall from soaking into the ground and recharging aquifers.


Ø Roads collect pollutants from tailpipe emissions and brake linings along with other contaminants that wash into rivers and streams during storm events and pollute those bodies of water.

Ø There are provisions that fund transportation control measures for air quality (CMAQ, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program) under the Clean Air Act. No parallel program exists to protect the nation?s waterways from the harms caused by stormwater runoff from highways.

What the Highway Stormwater Discharge Mitigation Program does:
ü The Senate transportation bill (S. 732) includes an important provision (Section 1620) to mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff from federal-aid roads and directly related facilities. According to the Federal Highway Administration the provision authorized $867.6 million over 5 years (2% of STP funds).


ü The program would mitigate the impacts to watersheds from highways and roads while addressing the goals in the federal Clean Water Act by funding projects that improve water quality and protect natural hydrology. Money would be available to the states for use by state and local governments.

ü Eligible activities include: non-structural stormwater projects, stormwater retrofits, projects that recharge groundwater, promote natural filters, and stream restoration, and projects that minimize stream bank erosion, and promotes innovative technologies. These approaches reduce costs to local communities, protect the natural water cycle, and provide more overall environmental benefits (e.g. protecting wildlife habitat and recreation).


For more information contact Betsy Otto, botto@amrivers.org, 202-347-7550 x3033, at American Rivers or Josh Klein, <mailto:jklein@nrdc.org>jklein@nrdc.org, 202-289-2421, at the Clean Water Network





Joshua R. Klein Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator Clean Water Network 1200 New York Avenue, NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 20005 202-289-2421 jklein@nrdc.org



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