Keep washes clean, PAG says - Tucson Local Media: El Sol

Keep washes clean, PAG says

Monsoon pushes wastes into fragile environments

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Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 11:00 pm

The Pima Association of Governments is undertaking its annual outreach campaign to help people understand the impact of stormwater pollution on desert washes.

"Clean Water Starts With Me" begins in July, with the anticipated arrival of the monsoon. Ads are being placed on TV, billboards, posters, movie theaters, buses and other venues.

"In Tucson, rainfall occurs in sudden bursts, particularly during the monsoon season and transports oil, grease and trash or other debris to our fragile desert washes," said Malini Banerjee, senior watershed planner for PAG. "As residents of a desert community, it is our responsibility to protect our washes and keep our waters clean."

The campaign provides several tips for businesses and residents, among them:

• Fix your leaky vehicle;

• Don't litter;

• Pick up after your dog;

• Use carwashes when washing your car;

• Use and store yard chemicals safely.

The awareness project is a product of PAG and its stormwater management working group.

"The outreach efforts coordinated by PAG and the member jurisdictions have produced widespread positive effects on communities, businesses and the environment," said Marc Herman of the Pima County Storm Water Program.

The campaign also helps PAG's member jurisdictions fulfill their stormwater permit requirements.

"The Town of Marana appreciates that PAG brings all of the jurisdictions together to provide a consistent message throughout the entire community on the importance of stormwater quality in this region," said Jennifer Christelman, manager of the Town of Marana environmental engineering division. "This program helps us meet our permit obligations to ADEQ as well as provides helpful tips on preventing stormwater pollution to our community."

Visit for more information on reducing stormwater pollution or to view the 2009 campaign brochure.

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