Ceremonial stormwater ribbon: cut

JACKSON, WY — Jackson Hole Airport leaders and board members celebrated a new $2.5 million stormwater filtration system Tuesday afternoon with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and reception.

The new system was made possible through a partnership with the Teton Conservation District. It’s one of the more impressive of its kind, and the largest in the state. It’s capable of handling a 100-year storm event.

Water runoff from rooftops and all airport impervious surfaces will filter through the new system, removing oil, sediments and other materials. The airport even gave a demonstration of clean, filtered water flowing through a pump.

“The DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) is blown away,” said JAC President Jim Elwood. “To actually filter stormwater and release it as clean water,” he said, is something few other airports are doing.

Clean, filtered water. Photo: Sarah Averill/Buckrail

As the only national airport in a U.S. National Park, airport officials said protecting the aquifer below the land is essential to the Board and reflects the board’s values of conservation and leadership.

“Being in a National Park, we have to be thoughtful,” Elwood said.

Governor Gordon echoed those sentiments at Tuesday’s ceremony.

“It is exciting to have this airport, which is such a critical part of Wyoming’s economy, but also such a critically important part of Jackson Hole and its National Parks take a real leadership role in making sure they did the responsible thing going forward,” Gordon said. “May this lead the way in something that is going to be incredibly important for aviation in the future.”

Other honored guests applauded the strong partnerships the airport has built that made the new filtration system possible.

“I’ve learned an important lesson in the value of good partnerships,” said Assistant Secretary for the Department of Interior’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Rob Wallace. “The Jackson Hole Airport Board is a platinum member of that club.”

Grand Teton National Park Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail agreed he is “thrilled” about the park’s partnership with JAC. “We are continuing to push the boundaries of environmental stewardship and show how we can work together in protecting and preserving this place for future generations.”

 

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