Polluted storm-water runoff can contain anything from silt to pesticides to diesel spills. When it hits public waterways, the consequences can be far-reaching: Swimmers may be put at risk, endangered species’ habitats may suddenly become inhospitable, and the overall quality of rivers and streams may be degraded over time. Under federal law, Asheville is required to revisit its Stormwater and Erosion Control Ordinance every so often, and the revised plan is due this summer. After several months of internal evaluations, the city is gearing up to open the floodgates and invite public input on the Stormwater Ordinance.
An upcoming series of three public meetings will be hosted by the city’s Stormwater Services Division at the Public Works Building (161 S. Charlotte Street, Room A-109). The first two meetings will focus on key aspects of the Stormwater Ordinance revisions. On Thursday, Aug. 9 (that’s tomorrow), from 10 a.m. to noon, the focus will be on buffer zones.
On Tuesday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon, the division may well receive a torrent of public comment on the topic of inspections and enforcement. And on Wednesday, Aug. 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., a third meeting will open up the discussion for any remaining issues or follow-up questions.
Storm-water runoff has been a hot issue as of late, with neighbors of some construction sites complaining about lax enforcement of existing regulations. For background on the city’s ordinance, click here.
— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor