Udall takes aim at stormwater pollution

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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has introduced legislation that aims to reduce pollution caused when storm water runoff carries chemicals and sediment into rivers and streams.

The New Mexico Democrat says storm water runoff is the leading cause of water pollution nationwide.

The Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2013 would encourage the use of innovative and economic approaches to manage and reduce such pollution and restore natural surfaces, such as permeable pavement, natural drainage features, and green roofs. 

These newer approaches can be more cost-effective than traditional stormwater infrastructure projects, which use large amounts of concrete and steel infrastructure to collect runoff and rapidly move it downstream. The investments would also create jobs and stimulate the economy.

In New Mexico, improvements to reduce stormwater runoff could better protect communities during major storms, such as the downpours this summer, which caused serious flooding and damage to roads, bridges and levees. During the storms, areas that had made improvements to reduce flooding, including the recent bosque redevelopment projects, were spared significant damage.

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