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Stafford sharing in grants for storm-water pollution

MORE: Read more Stafford County news

Stafford County is one of the 31 Virginia localities receiving part of nearly $23 million in grant money for storm-water pollution projects.

Stafford was the only locality in the Fredericksburg area to receive a storm-water grant. The county will receive $125,000 to retrofit detention ponds in the Whitsons Run area in North Stafford.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the grants Friday for 71 projects throughout the commonwealth aimed at improving water quality, chiefly by reducing levels of phosphorus, a key pollutant in storm water.

Much of that pollution ends up in the Chesapeake Bay, which is in the midst of a massive restoration effort.

Steve Hubble, assistant director of public works in Stafford, said the two retention ponds are in the Park Ridge and Liberty Place neighborhoods near Garrisonville.

The existing ponds were built with what Hubble calls more primitive designs from the 1980s, and reconstructing them will keep large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus from area rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

Hubble said his department is working on a 15-year plan to meet environmental regulations limiting pollutants into the bay. The plan will focus on stream restoration and more storm-water projects such as detention pond retrofitting.

The grant money is administered by the Department of Environmental Quality. A total of $35 million is available to local governments as matching grants.

The DEQ will award the remaining $12.1 million in 2014.

Hubble said Stafford applied for only one project, since matching local funds are required to receive the grant. Depending on the success of that project, Hubble said the county may seek additional storm-water grants.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976

lestes@freelancestar.com

 

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