Beaufort County's strong stormwater management standards are now under scrutiny, as reported in the April 5 story, "Project moves forward despite concerns." How we manage runoff is critical and it deserves careful consideration.
Experts reveal that in natural settings, only 10 to 20 percent of rainfall enters tidal creeks as stormwater runoff, while in developed landscapes this percentage can increase up to 75 percent, causing pollutants and salinity change.
To abandon the 10 percent impervious surface "recommendation" in favor of "engineered" solutions sets a weighty precedent and raises important questions.
Who will determine if the "engineered" solutions will in practice meet runoff goals (in various weather conditions) and what are the consequences if they do not?
Who will monitor the maintenance and efficacy of these "engineered" facilities now and over the years to ensure that they are maintained and perform to standards?
A straight 10 percent limit on impervious surfaces is self-sustaining, and the prospect of abandoning this principle is that future projects will create an ongoing burden and concern. This will set a precedent for future developments.
The questions of efficacy, monitoring and maintenance should weigh heavily on our elected officials.