The project was funded, with state assistance, by the Richmond Stormwater Utility fee, which was created in 2009, according to the Bacon's Rebellion blog. The fee raises about $9 million a year by taxing property owners based on how much blacktop and roof surface they have on their properties, according to the article. The city charges homeowner from $25 to $75 per year, depending upon the square footage of impervious surface.
"With a dedicated funding source, we can take a more proactive approach" to reducing pollution, said Michelle Virts, a deputy director of utilities with the city, in the blog article.
"Of all the sources of pollution plaguing the Bay and its tributaries, the only one that's not improving is stormwater runoff," said Chuck Epes, assistant director of media relations with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. With assistance from the EPA and the state, Virginia cities are upgrading their sewage treatment plants, and farmers are installing runoff pollution control projects, according to the article.
But as Virginia's population swells, houses, driveways, parking lots roads and other impermeable surface continue to replace farms, forest and wetlands, Bacon’s Rebellion wrote.
This "non-point source pollution" is so ubiquitous that it's the hardest to tackle, says Epes. "It's your back yard, my front yard. ... It costs a lot of money to retrofit. ... But if we don't get a handle on stormwater runoff, it will overwhelm the improvements we've made on other fronts."
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(Photo from Bacon's Rebellion blog)