Dedicated Penny for Stormwater to Pay for Rehabilitation

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Sept. 10, 2007

Dedicated Penny for Stormwater to Pay
for Rehabilitation of Pohick Creek Dam Number 4

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors advanced its environmental agenda today by accepting an agreement to rehabilitate Pohick Creek Dam Number 4.

The repairs will be partially funded from the board’s allocation of the value of one penny from the county’s real estate tax rate dedicated to stormwater management. In the past two years, this dedicated penny has amounted to more than $40 million for improving the county’s stormwater programs.

“The dedicated penny for stormwater management is improving water quality,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. “This funding helps the county to pay for new projects to improve the environment, and it also allows the county to care for our existing environmental infrastructure. This project helps us to protect our creeks, streams and watersheds.”

The dam helps to safeguard water quality by trapping nutrients and sediments. Nutrients, such as phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium that are found in fertilizer and grass clippings, can suffocate fish. Sediment, such as soil from stream banks, destroys feeding grounds for aquatic life, blocks light and increases water temperature. Both excessive nutrients and sediment are harmful to the county’s watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay.

The project will focus on preventing erosion to the dam’s embankment. The dam has benefited water quality, wildlife habitat and recreation since its completion in July 1976, as well as prevented flooding downstream.

The joint rehabilitation agreement is between the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Stormwater Management Division; the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD); and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The current cost of the project is approximately $3.1 million. NRCS will pay 65 percent of the cost or approximately $2 million. Fairfax County will fund 35 percent of the project or approximately $1.1 million of final costs, less any in-kind services credits. The current value of in-kind credit provided by Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is approximately $460,000; the total Fairfax County cash contribution is approximately $634,000.

A final design for this project is being completed under a Fairfax County contract, following NRCS standards. By April 2008, construction of the project will begin and the newly rehabilitated dam will have a new life expectancy of 70 years.

The Board of Supervisors’s environmental agenda, “Environmental Excellence for Fairfax County — A 20-Year Vision,” was adopted in 2004, and it identifies six areas of focus for environmental protection: growth and land use; air quality and transportation; water quality; solid waste; parks, trails and open space; and environmental stewardship. The 2004 plan and the board’s environmental improvement program were recognized by the National Association of Counties with an Achievement Award last year. Both are available on the county’s Web site at

For more information about the dedicated penny for stormwater management or this project, contact Irene Haske, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Stormwater Management Division, at 703-324-5821, TTY 711.


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