NORFOLK, Va., Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Communities around Norfolk and the Elizabeth River, a tributary of the ecologically important Chesapeake Bay, have benefitted from Norfolk Southern's (NYSE: NSC) innovative stormwater management system at the railroad's Lamberts Point coal transload facility. When it rains, the multimillion-dollar recycling system collects, filters, and treats stormwater from the 425-acre export coal facility. The water is reused to suppress dust and clean equipment at Pier 6, where oceangoing colliers are loaded with metallurgical and steam coal used to produce steel and electricity worldwide. In addition to enhancing the health of the river's ecosystem by reducing stormwater runoff, the project conserves water and lowers the company's water bill. Since the recycling system began operating in March 2013, the coal pier has reduced its use of municipal water by approximately 1.5 million gallons a month, annually saving about 18 million gallons. The railroad's efforts have earned recognition from the Elizabeth River Project, a nonprofit conservation organization whose goal is to restore the river's water quality. The ERP in January presented Norfolk Southern with a 2013 "Sustained Distinguished Performance" award for the stormwater project, the second consecutive year the railroad has achieved the award. The railroad is a "Model Level" partner in the ERP's River Star Business program, the highest level for businesses. "It really is an impressive project," said Pamela Boatwright, the ERP's deputy director administration and River Star program manager. "Through its efforts at Lamberts Point, Norfolk Southern has shown its commitment to environmental stewardship and is contributing to our long-term goal to make the Elizabeth River safe again for swimming and fishing." Blair Wimbush, NS vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer, said the stormwater project demonstrates the railroad's commitment to corporate responsibility.