Stormwater is county’s job

Published 6:34 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

In The Smithfield Times article “Help for HOA stormwater woes” in the March 30 edition, it appears that the county wants to pass its responsibilities for stormwater to the alleged property owners. Unfortunately, the stormwater program is an Environmental Protection Agency unfunded mandate and it is a travesty that this agency grants billions of dollars to major corporations, but when it comes to supporting local stormwater programs, there is no money.

The county’s argument is that it “doesn’t own the easements” and refers to easements that lack clearly defined owners as “orphaned outfalls,” a naïve position when all lands and structures are owned by the county. Private properties are an illusion since in reality, we are all “renters”; don’t pay property taxes and your possessions are confiscated.

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It is in the interest of the county to remediate all damage resulting from storm runoff since it is protecting its interests. Federal stormwater regulations have been around for about 40 years; why were these not considered by the county’s zoning department and planners back then? In my opinion, the county’s Stormwater Enterprise Fund has not been wisely spent by not locating stormwater facilities at strategic hydrological locations, where they will provide the best flood controls, and occasionally, when completed, did not pass final inspections, adding retrofit costs.

Just as the county provides other services, stormwater is the cost of running the government and citizens should not be forced to install and maintain them at their expense.

The major contributor of stormwater runoff is the Virginia Department of Transportation; why is that agency not part of the conversation? The real threat to the county is not stormwater but tidal floods.

Best wishes to Carrollton Meadows if it thinks that its stormwater woes will cost just six figures; it is a never-ending expenditure.


Jose E Hernandez