New Jersey Spotlight, March 27, 2017
OPINION: WELCOME TO THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF STORMWATER | By DANIEL J. VAN ABS
We need to think of stormwater as a resource that supports our streams, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries, not something to be discarded and forgotten.
Sometimes issues are best addressed by thinking about them in a different way.
Imagine a pipe polluting a stream, river, lake, coastal bay, or ocean. If it came from an industrial or public sewer system, society’s response would be simple — stop the pollution. Both New Jersey and federal laws are very clear. Such pollutant discharges must be regulated to protect water uses such as drinking, aquatic life and recreation.
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A New Way to Help Flooding in Our Watershed
A "Model Ordinance" developed to reduce stormwater runoff
Many municipalities in the Rahway River Watershed have suffered severe flooding from heavy rains, most recently from Hurricane Irene. Cranford, Millburn, Springfield, Rahway, and several more towns had damages totalling $100 million from rains the result of Irene alone. Homes, businesses, municipal offices and public areas were flooded, and repairs are still being made.
As a consequence many mayors of the impacted towns formed a council to find solutions and to evaluate various actions to reduce the frequency and severity of flooding from heavy rains. Also, a group of concerned citizens, many with environmental backgrounds, and municipal officials formed a group to find ways to reduce the stormwater runoff that causes the flooding. This group, The Rahway River Stormwater Advisory Board (RRSWAB), developed a model stormwater management ordinance that when adopted, will result in reduced stormwater runoff in the towns and throughout the watershed.
The team that developed this model, Katalin Gordon from the City of Orange Water Quality Roundtable and RRWA trustee, Jennifer Duckworth from the Essex County Environmental Commission, Frank Kaplinski from the NJDEP, and David Schwartzberg, from the Fanwood Environmental Commission and RRWA trustee were all members of the RRSWAB. Together they reviewed all the stormwater ordinances in the watershed municipalities and the best of the ordinances in the State of New Jersey. They obtained input from the Cooperative Extension of Rutgers University's stormwater group, ANJEC (the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions) and from local engineering firms to come up with this model ordinance.
In 2015, through a grant from the Watershed Institute, RRWA is working with municipalities in the watershed to promote adoption of a new stormwater management ordinance based on the model developed by the Storm Water Advisory Board.
Below you can view and download the Model Stormwater Ordinance 3 ways –
1) Click to view a pdf of the new Model Stormwater Management Ordinance
2) Click to view and download an editable version of the ordinance in word format. This version can be used by municipalities for the purpose of adapting their own stormwater mamagement ordinance.
3) Click to view a pdf of the RED LINED version highlighting the differences between the State's Model Stormwater Control Ordinance and the New Model Stormwater Management Ordinance
Contact the RRWA president Marian Glenn at (908) 656-0240 if you would like to learn how to reduce stormwater runoff and flooding in your town by adopting The Model Storm Water Ordinance.
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For information about the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection storm water guidence CLICK HERE.
For additional storm water information from New Jersey Clean Water CLICK HERE.
Making a Rain Garden