Thursday, July 02, 2009

West Va. an environmental leader?

At least, that's what I'm hearing. The state of West Virginia has adopted a set of Smart Growth-oriented storm water rules. Here's a link.

Lynn Richards of the EPA's Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation Smart Growth Program said in an e-mail that was forwarded to me, "This is really big news!"

Those readers with more expertise than I in such matters, please weigh in on what you see – good rules? unenforceable rules?

It appears part of a kind of underground movement to try to bring 21st-century and urban-oriented thinking to the unavoidable subject of storm water runoff and by extension, civil engineering.

Detention ponds and the BMPs (Best Management Practices) of the 20th century are generally anti-urban in their design. How do you marry good urban design with strong measures to prevent the water pollution caused by rain water than drains off pavement and fertilizer-laden lawns? Tom Low and his DPZ and other New Urbanist-oriented colleagues are making headway with their "Light Imprint" initiative.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boring.....

Anonymous said...

Tea Party on July 4th Marshall Park 11:00 am. I'll see you there Mary.

Anonymous said...

The Tea Party, eh? The ole "In Greed We Trust" crowd will be out whining about "why should I spend one red cent to feed a starving baby or treat a sick grandmother." If you REALLY wanted to lower taxes you'd demand we slash needless warmongering spending and shutdown the Porkagon and end the Iraq and Afghanistan porkwars.

Hey if you hate civilization so much, teabagger, go move out to a rural compound with your David Koresh/Jim Jones friends and leave the rest of us alone.

The teabaggers are just mad that on election day they became the one thing they hate the most - a minority!

Cato said...

One thing that I didn't see brought to light in Mecklenburg's stormwater brouhaha a few weeks ago is what percentage of smart-growthy neighborhood surfaces are nonpermeable compared with the suburbs. Sure, the 'burbs have bigger houses and usually longer driveways. But they also tend to have significantly bigger lots and, as Mary never tires of telling us, lack sidewalks. They also don't have the large front porches, and the, ahem, "carrige houses" of our more fashionable environs.

It would also seem that two other smart growth staples, road connectivity and shorter blocks would tend to increase water runoff.

This is, of course, but one issue in design considerations, but it does seem to be one that becomes more difficult to manage as density increases and common smart-growth policies pursued.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:53 I'm sorry I believe in freedom and liberty. I don't won't the GREEDY hand of government in every crevice of society.

Anonymous said...

IMPEACH BEV PERDUE!

Anonymous said...

Cato, those yards and setbacks count for very little when you add up the acreage taken up by all the roads leading into and out of exurban subdivisions. New urbanist construction is better for water quality, period. That is why NYC has better water than so much of the country. The city is almost 100% paved, but the stretch of countryside that provides NYC with water is owned by the city and no development is allowed on it. The result, cheap water, in huge quantities, filtered on the cheap.