When it rains, waterways like the James River can get contaminated.
Dirt and other harmful particles wash downhill, and eventually end up in the Chesapeake Bay.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte wants to keep our water clean, but he worries new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency will do more harm than good.
"We want to make sure that we are spending taxpayer dollars and economic development dollars in the way that makes the most sense," said Goodlatte, who believes the new EPA regulations give the Federal government too much authority.
He believes decisions about cleaning up waterways should be made at the state level.
"We're not trying to stop good efforts to keep sedimentation from going into the bay, we want to make sure that the dollars are well spent, and that the states have the lead in figuring out how to do that," Goodlatte said.
Tom Shahady teaches environmental science at Lynchburg College and disagrees with Goodlatte.
Shahady says the states already had a chance to protect waterways from storm water contamination and failed to act.
"What the EPA is doing now is what needs to be done, because the states have not done a good job of regulating themselves," Shahady said.
Goodlatte says the new regulations will cost local governments more money, and ultimately hurt taxpayers.
"If the EPA is allowed to have this power, they could change and require cities to do more, which would cost even more," said Goodlatte.
But Shahady believes not having these new rules will cost more later.
"These are things that benefit all of us, and I think it's something that we need to contribute to, because as we allow it to degrade further, it's much more expensive to fix in the long run," said Shahady.
Goodlatte is introducing legislation in Congress that would put more oversight on the EPA, and give state governments more say in the clean-up process.