Cleaning Up New Orleans Stormwater

Flooded street in Uptown New OrleansWhen rain water lands in New Orleans, it can pick up quite a bit of pollution from roads, parking lots, roofs, lawns, docks, and businesses. Once this water is good and polluted it is pumped out of the city into Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River, and other waterbodies. It is the responsibility of the City of New Orleans, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, the Port of New Orleans, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the New Orleans Levee District, and Jefferson Parish to ensure that their stormwater doesn’t pollute these waters.On Monday we asked folks to send an email to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to hold the entities in New Orleans accountable to cleaning up the stormwater through measurable goals and increased green infrastructure. Many thanks to the over seventy residents of the New Orleans area that took the time to send an email to LDEQ regarding the draft stormwater permit they recently released.In the meantime, GRN, with the help from the New Orleans Group of Sierra Club, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, and Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, drafted more technical comments highlighting the many areas where the draft stormwater permit could be stronger. You can check out these comments here. The comment period for this draft permit is currently closed, but many folks have requested a public hearing in New Orleans, so folks might get another opportunity to weigh in on the important issues that involve New Orleans’ intimate relationship with stormwater. Matt Rota is GRN’s Science and Water Policy Director

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