City of Tacoma pursues grants for downtown, North Tacoma, Cheney Stadium stormwater projects

The City of Tacoma recently submitted the following grant applications related to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s 2012 stormwater grant funding program:

— A project focusing on the “A” Street leg of the area tributary that covers approximately 11 acres of the oldest area of downtown Tacoma and discharges into the Foss Superfund Cleanup area. This area has been historically high in polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury. The project will consist of replacement of approximately 2,250 feet of pipe and construction of an underground treatment vault sized to treat the water quality design storm for an eleven acre tributary area. When completed, this project will result in structurally sound stormwater pipe segments that are free of leaks associated with structural defects. The resulting reduction in inflow and infiltration from surrounding soils as well as the treatment facility is expected to reduce the contaminant load to waters of the state;

— A regional treatment facility proposed for residential and commercial areas of North Tacoma. This project will be designed in partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma and will coordinate with Point Defiance improvements currently under preliminary design. The facility will consist of a Regional Rain Garden Facility which will be located at Point Defiance and provide treatment for up to 720 acres of North Tacoma. The project will target a significant portion of the City of Tacoma affected by the Asarco plume and is expected to improve the quality of stormwater discharged into the sensitive Puget Sound receiving waters;

— A low impact development retrofit proposed for the middle two acres of the Cheney Stadium parking lot and developed in partnership with Tacoma Public Facilities and the Tacoma Rainiers. The facility will consist of replacing the existing parking lot with porous pavement and landscaping designed to improve water quality. This project is expected to manage the stormwater onsite and provide water quality, which will improve the quality of stormwater discharged into the sensitive Leach Creek receiving waters. This project will supplement the parking lot improvements currently under construction.

According to the Department of Ecology’s Web site, The 2011 State Legislature provided a $30 million appropriation for statewide stormwater construction projects. Based on the language in the Fiscal Year 2011-13 Capital Budget, the Department of Ecology is directed by the Legislature to develop evaluative criteria for a statewide stormwater construction grant program that meets the following policy objectives:

— Eligible applicants are Phase I and Phase II Municipal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit holders;

— Grants are for stormwater construction or design/construction projects statewide

— Construction projects must meet Municipal Stormwater NPDES permit requirements

— Consideration will be given for communities least able to pay, or early adopters of new regulations and effective new technology

— Applicants must demonstrate readiness to proceed and provide a twenty-five percent cash match

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