Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Action Plan Should Begin in 2018

The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Action Plan was developed by the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) as required by the 2013-2018 General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). The draft outlines how the department intends to reduce pollution to the James River, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, and can be found here.

DPU plans to achieve the required 5 percent reduction in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment as called for in the permit.

DPU is currently designing five stream restorations – Pocosham Creek, Goode’s Creek, Albro Creek, Rattlesnake Creek, and Reedy Creek. These projects will restore a portion of the city’s tributaries to the James River, reduce stormwater runoff and restore valuable biological habitat.

DPU will continue to seek ways to protect our natural environment, reduce nuisance flooding, and maintain our existing infrastructure to comply with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL requirements.

Reedy Creek is approximately 3,075 acres of urban and suburban land in the southwestern part of the city. The project will restore approximately 2,200 linear feet of the creek and the downstream portion of an unnamed tributary. The land is owned by the city and administered by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

Rattlesnake Creek is a tributary of the James River draining around 1,000 acres of mostly suburban land in the northwestern corner of the city and south side of the James. The proposed stream restoration will address 1,500 linear feet of the creek between E. Weyburn Road and Chippenham Parkway.

The Albro Creek project will restore approximately 1,281 linear feet of stream and create three acres of wetlands to restore and improve the water quality of Albro Creek, also known as Bellemeade Creek.

The Pocosham Creek stream restoration is located on a tributary of Pocoshock Creek that flows into Falling Creek. This tributary drains approximately 3,625 acres of mostly suburban and forest land in the southwestern side of the city, west of the James River. A six-foot wide trail will be constructed as part of the restoration project.

The Maury Cemetery Stream restoration project is located within the city’s Maury Cemetery and will restore approximately 1,980 linear feet of stream channel. The project is bounded by Maury Street, N. Hopkins Road, a CSX railroad track and the Maury Cemetery. This work will improve the overall function of the stream, preventing erosion, restoring habitat, and improving water quality.

Each project is currently in the design or planning process. Projects should be in construction by June 2018. In addition to stream restoration projects, the city is currently implementing or planning citywide street sweeping and green alleys.

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