Tuesday, January 14, 2014

County Seeks Federal Accountability for Stormwater Drainage

Mesa County Commissioners Monday, January 13, voted 3-0 in favor of a resolution seeking greater Federal responsibility and management of stormwater drainage originating on Federal lands. The County joins partners from the 521 Drainage Authority, including the City of Fruita, Town of Palisade, City of Grand Junction and the Grand Valley Drainage District, who have already passed similar resolutions.

73% of Mesa County is public land owned by the Federal Government and managed by the BLM and the National Forrest Service. The purpose of the Resolution is to notify Congress that the 521 Drainage Authority would like financial backing and active participation in the management of the stormwater drainage that originates on these lands.

Stormwater is not treated, instead running directly into area waterways. Stormwater management works to control pollution, such as fertilizers and other toxins, which could be picked up in runoff. Increasingly stringent federal environmental regulations for stormwater quality requires the Drainage Authority to undertake additional costly actions to control and monitor pollution in stormwater.

The signed resolution now heads to Denver to garner statewide political backing before coming before Mesa County’s congressional representatives for introduction to Congress.

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