As a municipal officer, stormwater may be an issue you are already familiar with: perhaps your community is subject to stormwater regulations, experiences flooding problems, or has a polluted local stream. Regardless of your past experiences with stormwater, you have a unique opportunity to protect and enhance your community’s water quality. Being proactive about stormwater management now can save your community a lot of money in the long run by reducing the need for costly cleanup after a large storm, and/or by helping you meet state and federal regulations. However, tackling the issue of stormwater management may seem daunting, financially and logistically.
One approach to stormwater management involves installing green infrastructure. Green infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, riparian buffers, and constructed wetlands not only manage stormwater where it falls- they improve quality of life by cleaning the air, cooling our homes, and beautifying properties. Local residents will enjoy the beauty of these practices, and may be more willing to support local stormwater programs once they see how the funds are being used. You may want to explore these green infrastructure options as a means of meeting your stormwater goals. Consider taking the lead in your local stormwater education program, or calling for municipal action to craft a stormwater plan. You will be protecting not only your own community’s water, but the waters of every community downstream.
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.
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.