County OKs new stormwater ordinances
There are about five months left until all localities are required to adopt and implement an “action plan” to comply with state and federal laws to manage stormwater, and Hanover County’s plan is on its way to full execution.
“We submitted the first draft of our program in January,” said Mike Flagg, director of public works.
Feb. 12, the board of supervisors approved three related ordinances that apply to new development, Flagg said. They are a part of the action plan.
Flagg said the rules create standards that the county can use to make sure builders and developers are practicing environmentally friendly stormwater management practices such as silt fences on construction sites to prevent erosion as well as post-construction practices such as bio filters.
The public works department received feedback from the state water control board after the first draft of the county’s program was submitted, which Flagg said would be re-submitted in May and he believes should be approved.
Flagg said they keep sending drafts to the state to ensure all elements of the program comply with the state’s mandates, so that the approval process will be easier.
Another ordinance the board approved contains the county’s drainage design handbook. The county is asking for the state to approve an amendment to the handbook, to allow Hanover to change the permissible velocity, or how they look at streams and how erosion is evaluated in natural water channels, Flagg said.
He said it is possible the state might allow it, but if there are any issues with the amendment, another public hearing will be held.
According to Flagg, the aforementioned adopted rules did not receive any pushback or complaints at the Feb. 12 board of supervisors’ public hearing.
Now the state must approve the program and Flagg does not foresee it getting denied.
“By and large our policies mimic the state requirements,” he said.