UNRBA Press Release for Adoption of the Interim Alternative Implementation Approach

On March 17, 2021, the Board of the UNRBA voted unanimously to invest a combined $1.5 million each year in water quality projects and activities to reduce nutrient contribution from urbanized land in the Falls Lake watershed. The agreement marks another milestone in the group’s efforts to protect Falls Lake’s long-term ability to provide safe drinking water, wildlife habitat, and recreation.

The Interim Alternative Implementation Approach (IAIA) will help local governments regulated under the Falls Lake Nutrient Management Strategy comply with their Stage I Existing Development requirements. Its key provisions allow innovation and cooperation that allow jurisdictions to comply with the Falls Lake Existing Development Rule by:
• Expanding the list of eligible options for managing nutrient pollution,
• Removing regulatory silos by allowing local governments to cooperate with others on nutrient reduction projects, and
• Focusing on financial investments in nutrient reduction to
make progress more measurable, trackable, and transparent.

The new approach, on which the UNRBA has been working since 2018, was created through close collaboration with others in the regulated community, regulators, and environmental advocacy groups. Sig Hutchinson, Chair of the UNRBA, celebrated the “truly innovative approach that will not only result in better outcomes for the watershed, but also be more cost effective for our members.” John Huisman, representative from the Division of Water Resources, called the IAIA “a great model for other watersheds.” Multiple UNRBA Board members expressed their gratitude for the hard work, collaboration, and negotiations that went into securing this achievement.