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U.S. Senator Udall Of NM Sponsors Stormwater Pollution Bill

PHOTO: U.S. Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is sponsoring a bill to help communities deal with stormwater pollution. Image courtesy of the US government.
PHOTO: U.S. Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is sponsoring a bill to help communities deal with stormwater pollution. Image courtesy of the US government.
November 19, 2013

SANTA FE, N.M. – Following September's devastating floods, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico is backing legislation to improve America's ability to help prevent stormwater pollution.

Udall spokeswoman Jennifer Talhelm says the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2013 would help restore natural surfaces, such as by installing permeable pavement, natural drainage features and green roofs.

"Helps reduce the amount of water that's running over pavement, and it also helps add new ways to filter out pollution,” she says. “That's the idea of green roofs or green spaces."

Talhelm adds that polluted stormwater runoff is caused when rain or snowmelt flows over roads, roofs, parking lots and other surfaces, picking up chemicals and sediment and carrying them to rivers and streams. It's cited as a major cause of overall water pollution.

Talhelm points out that the legislation would probably not cost taxpayers any more money, because it could be funded through existing government resources.

"What could happen is, this bill would direct existing spending to be used for stormwater infrastructure and innovative solutions to reduce water pollution in this particular way," she explains.

There are estimates that September's floods caused upwards of $100 million worth of damage to roads, bridges, houses and other infrastructure.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM