Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon will sign recently passed ordinances that further protect water quality and drinking-water supplies.
The new rules, adopted earlier this week by the Snohomish County Council, also increase protection to public and private property from potential erosion, flooding or pollution damage caused by runoff from development activities.
“Environmental stewardship combined with the safeguarding of county drinking-water supplies is instrumental to protecting our local quality of life,” Reardon said. “These new regulations better ensure the cleanliness of our waterways for future generations.”
The new regulations comply with toughened federal requirements imposed by the county’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) municipal stormwater permit. This federal permit requires the county to implement a variety of actions that prevent pollution from entering Snohomish County’s rivers, streams and waterways, all of which ultimately lead to the Puget Sound.
The new regulations will be implemented through more stringent county permits issued for land-disturbing activities such as clearing and grading, and for construction or reconstruction of both private and public facilities.
In addition to tighter controls of runoff during construction, new commercial and residential development proposals must include larger and more effective stormwater detention and drainage facilities, or incorporate other measures for reducing or eliminating runoff and pollution.
The new stormwater regulations promote the use of new, low-impact development techniques such as pervious concrete roads and walkways, rain gardens and landscaping to infiltrate rainwater back into the earth rather than entering the drainage system.
Plowing and most other traditional farming activities are not affected by the new regulations.
Reardon will sign the ordinances 11 a.m. Friday, June 18. The new regulations become effective Sept. 30. For more information on these regulations and their impacts, go to www.snoco.org and search “NPDES.”