NRDC Unveils Plan to Help Communities Keep Pollutants Out of Local Waters

On March 21, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a plan that can be adopted by small and midsized communities to keep local waters free of disease-causing pollutants.

"It is the right tool for local governments to resolve the problem of toxic runoff," said Anjali Jaiswal, an attorney with NRDC's Water Quality Program. "It will provide communities with clean and healthy waters to protect public health, marine ecosystems and local economies."

The document, titled "Keeping Our Waters Clean: How Smaller Communities Can Prevent Toxic Runoff," summarizes the tools needed to stop and control polluted runoff. It is based on the program adopted by communities along California's Monterey Peninsula, and is an update of NRDC's 2005 report "A Practical Plan for Pollution Prevention," which analyzed stormwater programs throughout the United States.

Rainfall, excess watering of lawn, and other water use sweeps pollution on the ground into water bodies during both dry and rainy months. This runoff can damage the environment and have serious public health impacts. The three-part strategy of prevention, monitoring and enforcement developed by NRDC can help smaller and midsized cities deal with this toxic stormwater runoff before it pollutes local waterways and puts public health at risk.

"Keeping Our Waters Clean" can be found at

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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