Stormwater Part II: Another big success

Second in series highlights new technology and funding opportunities


By Hugh M. Carola


Building upon the success of our March seminar entitled: "Stormwater: Don't Get Caught in the Rain," Hackensack Riverkeeper hosted a follow-up event on July 24. Like the earlier seminar, "Stormwater: What's Next? - A Technology and Funding Seminar" was conducted at Fairleigh Dickinson University and was co-hosted by the FDU School of Natural Sciences. However, unlike the first one, which dealt with introducing the upcoming regulations to a wide range of stakeholders, the new seminar was geared specifically to municipalities, planners, builders and engineering firms.

Representatives from thirteen firms as well as county officials, municipal officials, planners, environmental commission members and others from as far away as Manalapan, NJ received glimpses of product and funding solutions. The evening's presenters were Robert Liguori of AbTech Industries and Paul Polizzotto, the founder of California based Adopt-A-Waterway.

"While at the Waterkeeper Alliance convention in June," said Capt. Bill, "I was amazed at the work that was being done by AbTech with their Smart Sponge® technology." Simply put, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Company has developed an absorbent polymer that can trap large amounts of chemical pollutants (gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, etc.) while maintaining continuous water flow into storm sewers. Smart Sponges can be custom-fit for catch basins of any shape or size and do not require expensive retrofitting.

Robert Liguori of AbTech Industries describes technology which alleviates petroleum hydrocarbon pollution.

Paul Polizzotto of Adopt-A-Waterway describes creative funding opportunities to significantly defray retrofitting costs.

Mr. Polizzotto's company specializes in a creative network that brings together municipalities and local businesses to create a stable source of funding to help pay for new technology and its maintenance. Using attractive signage that carries both commercial advertising and a strong clean water message, the Adopt-A-Waterway plan is also a strategy that municipalities can use to help meet the public education component of the new regulations. And of course, the real bottom line is that our waterways get cleaner.

"In the months and years ahead, municipalities that are ahead of the curve on stormwater management will be in a very enviable position," said Capt. Bill. "What AbTech and Adopt-A-Waterway can do is put them there and help keep them there." As a service to all the municipalities in Bergen and Hudson Counties, Hackensack Riverkeeper has forwarded seminar materials to the mayors of each town and plans are already underway for a third stormwater event. Stay tuned!

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