The idea is to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that rushes off pavement and rooftops every time it rains. This runoff flushes pollution -- oil, dirt, bacteria, nutrients, and litter -- directly into nearby streams, erodes river banks, and causes mega problems for residents and critters downstream.
So Lancaster is encouraging the construction of “green” parking lots, roofs, alleys, and playgrounds that soak up rainwater and allow it to seep into the soil instead of running off to pollute nearby waterways.
Lancaster is not alone in efforts to find innovative ways to reduce stormwater runoff, the only major Chesapeake Bay pollutant that is getting worse instead of better. Among other Bay-region localities, Richmond, Va., has undertaken a number of pilot projects aimed at curbing – make that absorbing – stormwater runoff.