New stormwater permit may help on sanctions

photo Staff File Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press Chattanooga public works employees work to improve stormwater drainage on Winding Lane near Hixson.

Chattanooga's new stormwater permit requiring new development or redevelopments to hold the first inch of rainfall out of the storm drains went into effect this week -- just as the rain clouds gave way to clear sky.

Mayor Ron Littlefield hopes that having the new state permit will help the city in negotiations to avoid sanctions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice.

"I'm glad that we have completed action on our permit," Littlefield said. "We're very comfortable with the high standards that it sets, as long as we're not a lone ranger with it."