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Upgrades to Reduce Stormwater Runoff at VA Capitol

Virginia's Capitol grounds are undergoing some upgrades to reduce the amount of stormwater that runs into the James River.

Crews have been installing porous paving materials and planting new vegetation around Capitol Square to help water soak into the grounds.

They're also working on a rain garden at the bell tower and other areas. Water that doesn't soak into the ground will funnel into a tank to be used to irrigate the lawn and fill the nearby fountain.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency are funding the efforts with a grant worth nearly $800,000.

Project officials tell the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the improvements should reduce runoff from Capitol Square by 64 percent, and ultimately keep pollution from reaching the Chesapeake Bay.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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