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April 16, 2014

Council backs stormwater program

Tonawanda News — The North Tonawanda Common Council voted to approve a plan to bring the city in compliance with new stormwater regulations instituted by federal and state legislation. 

The city will used education and outreach programs as part of a 2013 annual stormwater report, which will be submitted at a later date to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This is the fourth year North Tonawanda has participated in the program. 

City Engineer Dale Marshall said the city will coordinate and develop a pollution prevention program for all government operations, including the public works, water, wastewater and recreation departments as a means to ensure compliance. It will also dedicate a stormwater report page on the city’s website. 

“It isn’t the old days when everything goes carte blanche to the river,” Marshall said. “It’s an unfunded mandate but you can’t get around it.” 

North Tonawanda is part of the Western New York Stormwater Coalition, a forum of regional governmental bodies that shares resources to remain in compliance with stormwater requirements, now in their second phase through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of the coalition is to combine resources to reduce the negative impact of storm sewer pollution on local waterways. 

The council also approved a measure that authorizes the Lumber City Development Corporation to administer $200,000 in funds acquired through a competitive Community Development Block Grant. The grant will be used for deferred loans and grants for small businesses in the city that have five employees or less.

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