As an elected official, your knowledge of stormwater, watershed issues, and BMPs may be comprehensive–or quite limited. Officials are often thrown into the stormwater world after their communities experience flooding. Learning more about stormwater runoff and the practices that can reduce it, such as green infrastructure, can help you achieve multiple community objectives: reducing flooding, meeting permit requirements, keeping waterways clean, attracting new businesses and residents, and much more.
Implementation of stormwater management practices (often referred to as BMPs or Best Management Practices) happens locally, and as such, local governments are key partners in these efforts. Working closely with businesses, watershed associations, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens is imperative to developing a strong stormwater program. Consider collaborating with neighboring communities to pool knowledge, money, and other resources–this can dramatically improve your capacity to install stormwater practices. It is important to offer periodic training to make sure everyone (including officials who are newly elected) stays up to date on emerging stormwater issues and solutions. Peer to peer knowledge transfer has proven highly effective on these topics.
Developing a stormwater program may seem logistically and financially challenging, but there are many case studies to learn from and organizations that can help. Explore the resources below to get started.
The Blair County Conservation District partners with 13 Blair County communities to implement the Public Education and Public Participation part of their MS4 Stormwater Program.
DEP’s page on Municipal Stormwater offers background on the NPDES and MS4 programs, recorded webinars, draft TMDL Plans, and draft Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plans.
StormwaterPA.org provides information on the MS4 program, stormwater BMPs, PA stormwater standards, and integrated planning.
EPA’s page on Green Infrastructure contains information on GI tools, policy, permitting, funding, and more.
The Environmental Finance Center’s stormwater page contains information and resources that the EFC has used to help many counties finance their stormwater programs (including Blair County).
The Reduce Your Stormwater website, created by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, contains information on various BMPs that you can install on public property and promote to local residents.