2017 has brought many changes for people across the nation and the Commonwealth. Such change is being seen in the City of Lynchburg, as the City is beginning to implement a new stormwater management program that helps keep the surrounding watersheds and ecosystems in Lynchburg clean, as well as save the City money overall.
The City's stormwater program entails financing the implementation of stormwater best management practices that include bioretention, constructed wetland, and urban stream restoration, together with related expenses. These projects will help the City meet their 5% and 35% Reduction goals as part of Lynchburg's Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Action Plan, and help the City stay committed to its focus on the future and encouraging innovation within Lynchburg.
Like much of Western Virginia, Lynchburg has seen incredible growth in recent years, partially thanks to the growth of Lynchburg College and Liberty University. This growth has brought jobs and revenue to the region, but it also has created a need for updated stormwater management techniques that work symbiotically with the surrounding Lynchburg ecosystem.
This plan for stormwater management will help to improve water quality in both Blackwater Creek and Rock Castle Creek through the stream restoration projects and the constructed wetlands project within the existing Greenwood Pond. Bioretention measures constructed at Sheffield Elementary School and Laurel School will also help the City to meet TMDL goals. These projects are estimated to cost roughly $3.5 million dollars, and are projected to be completed by fall of 2018. Funding was obtained from a Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which was matched by the City of Lynchburg with a local loan through the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund. DEQ administers the program and policy aspects of the fund on behalf of the State Water Control Board and VRA serves as the financial manager of the fund.