Wed March 21, 2012
Stormwater runoff and its consequences to waterways
The Western New York Stormwater Coalition held its 2012 conference at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Tuesday.
Communities in Western New York and across the state; indeed, across the country are paying more attention to stormwater runoff.
Carol Lamb-Lafay is with the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
“It’s in its infancy. I think the Clean Water program has been around since 1972, but stormwater really took off in 2003,” said Lamb-Lafay.
Government regulations are, in large part, responsible for the increased public interest stormwater runoff. But it is the realization that runoff left unchecked pollutes creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. Waterways that are used for fishing, swimming, and other recreational purposes.
Lamb-Lafay told WBFO News that some municipalities have become proactive.
"Stormwater runoff and its consequences to waterways...some communities recognized the fact that urbanization results in a lot of pollutants ending up in the storm sewers. …so they may recognize the environmental threat of storm sewers,” said Lamb-Lafay.
The Coalition is a collaboration of 38-municipalities in Erie and Niagara counties. For the last ten years, the Coalition has worked to improve the management of stormwater throughout the region.
Lamb-Lafay said the public can play a role.
"It’ starts with public education outreach and what people can do to eliminate the pollutants from the source," said Lamb-Lafay.
Municipal storm sewer systems are not set up to treat anything and exist solely to transport rain water to rivers, creeks, and other bodies of waters.