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Bill seeks to cut highway runoff

Sen. Ben Cardin says he has introduced a bill to cut pollution from highway stormwater runoff.

Cardin says last week's storms highlight the need for legislation aimed at keeping stormwater from reaching streams, rivers and other waterways. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop standards for protecting and restoring watershed in areas that contain federally funded highways.

The Maryland Democrat says roads can be designed to cut stormwater pollution at its source, not only stopping pollution but also reducing the frequency of flash-flooding events and saving cleanup costs after major storms.

Highway runoff contains pollutants ranging from tailpipe emissions to oil, sediments, road salt and deicing agents.

-- Associated Press

By Michael Bolden  | July 19, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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The optimist in me hopes that this will rationalize and streamline existing stormwater regulations, resulting in greater compliance at lower cost.

The realist in me dreads having to deal with yet another layer of red tape, increasing costs and retarding progress.

To give an example, my agency had a bid to design a bridge for under $50,000. We got federal aid for the bridge, and design costs went up tenfold.

Posted by: Zufechten | July 19, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

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