When it rains in the Pacific Northwest, it pours. Washington’s legislators recognize the importance of improving water quality and preventing pollution in our waters that accumulate during heavy rains. Legislators in Olympia have proposed funding the Cochran Basin Stormwater Project again, right here in Spokane. We applaud their efforts to fund this project.
The Spokane River is a defining feature of cultural importance to our region. However, like in many urban areas, pollutants accumulate in stormwater runoff that pollutes our landmark river, and our community hasn’t had many mechanisms to address it. This much needed project will allow for the construction of a control vault that directs more stormwater to three downstream stormwater facilities that treat the water and remove pollutants.
What this means for those of us who aren’t environmental scientists or natural resource experts: it will limit the amount of pollutants entering the river. All Spokane residents can appreciate the need for the basin to function and the preservation of our natural resources.
Every year, the state Legislature faces difficult budget decisions. Often, natural environment maintenance projects like this get overlooked for more competing needs. But the old adage applies here: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Completing the Cochran Basin Stormwater Project will enhance the quality of our water and mitigate other impacts of climate change that bring heightened flood risks. This project brings us one step closer to a sustainable future. Thank you to our elected representatives for your leadership.
Mark Papich and Trey George