A Watershed Approach to the NPDES Phase II Rule
Toledo Metropolitan Areas Council of Governments
Basin Program Funds:
Storm water runoff from the urbanizing portions of northwest Ohio poses a significant water quality threat to Lake Erie and its tributaries. The need for smaller communities in northwest Ohio to improve storm water controls has shifted from a growing problem to a mandate with the introduction of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II rule. Neither the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) nor the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) have been forthcoming with financial assistance to help communities comply with these programs.
The problem of storm water runoff is not just confined to well-defined urban areas. As urban sprawl continues the amount of land being paved grows, limiting the area for storm water to infiltrate into the ground and increasing the amount of runoff. Increased storm water volumes and velocities have greater erosive power and carry larger loads of sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants.
The pollution associated with storm water runoff has not been addressed for a number of reasons. Primarily among them is the fact that storm water does not attract the same attention that more obvious point sources such as municipal wastewater treatment plants have. In the past, only larger cities have had legal responsibility for storm water quality. These larger cities are required under NPDES Phase I permits to monitor their discharges and eliminate significant water quality threats. The smaller municipalities and townships in northwest Ohio have no specific funding devoted to the operation, maintenance, or capital improvement costs of their storm water systems.
Conduct an education and outreach program in northwest Ohio on urban storm water issues. Assist communities in meeting the requirements of the NPDES Phase II rule. Organize and coordinate a storm water action group for urban areas within the Portage and Sandusky River watersheds and direct Lake Erie tributaries. Develop a PowerPoint presentation and fact sheets for urban storm water management workshops. Publicize and present two public storm water management workshops. Create an inventory for northwest Ohio that identifies by political jurisdiction and watershed.
Project ongoing, no results.
Contact: Kurt Ericson, 419-241-9155 ex 139