Stormwater Phase II Initiative in the Seneca and Keuka Lake Watersheds
Seneca Lake and Keuka Lake, NY

Grantee: Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $30,000
Non-federal Funds: $18,250
Project Duration: 07/2003 - 08/2005
Status: complete

Problem Statement
The Seneca and Keuka Lake Watersheds are experiencing increased erosion as the result of stormwater run-off from construction and development activities in the area.

The Clean Water Act in 1972 established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Under Phase I of NPDES, a stormwater program was established in 1990 and required NPDES permit coverage for large or medium municipalities that had populations of 100,000 or more. As of January 2003, the Phase II program extends permit coverage to smaller communities (with populations under 100,000) and public entities that own or operate a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). Since Phase II is largely an un-funded federal mandate, financial support to assist in delivering the Phase II Stormwater program is critical for communities charged with the responsibility of embracing this program.

The Seneca and Keuka Lake Watersheds are addressing potential impacts to water quality through a consistent watershed management process and continued development of sound action strategies. Both watersheds have given high priority to continued stormwater management and soil erosion and sediment control initiatives in 2003. Effective stormwater initiatives, with a special focus on implementation of Phase II regulations, will require continued collaboration of stakeholders in 2003 in order to develop uniform standards and/or possible local ordinances for stormwater management.

The proposed project provided continued, comprehensive education and technical assistance for stakeholders, especially municipal governments, to develop a uniform approach to Phase II Stormwater regulations. Funding provided for personnel costs and expenses needed to conduct meetings and/or training sessions associated with the proposed work. This included consultant fees, expenses for facilities, printed materials and supplies.

General "boilerplate" power point presentations were formatted for meetings with stakeholders. These programs can be presented at meetings by knowledgeable speakers in a target area and audience. Programs targeted stakeholders who are new to the Phase II program as well as currently involved stakeholders. Funding will support presentation development costs. Regional stakeholder meetings were offered at a central location in each watershed and provide the stage for stakeholder presentations. Additional presentations will be available upon request for municipal governments or other stakeholders

Stormwater information and training programs outlined the state's Phase II regulatory framework, reviewed design and construction practices for stormwater management, and assisted professionals working in a regulatory framework at the local level and with the state. Audiences included design professionals, municipal government representatives and personnel such as code enforcement officers, planning board members, or planning departments, area contractors and developers. Technical training for Soil and Water Conservation District personnel was offered to assist them in providing technical assistance to local contractors and the public. Each county in the Seneca and Keuka Lake Watersheds will share information and resources.

Printed material to support each of the outlined project was to be obtained from existing resources. Other key materials will include program notices, newsletter or information pieces relevant to stakeholder involvement such as newsletters of soil and water conservation districts and lake associations.

A series of education goals for key stakeholder audiences were developed in conjunction with Project Partners. Existing presentations from other county or state efforts were collected and reviewed for content by main project staff at the beginning of the project. Project partners assisted with finalization of education goals and associated programmatic development.

Power point presentations concentrated on stormwater management considerations related to construction activities. Presentations provide the latest, up-to-date information related to the Phase II regulations over the course of the project. Photographs documenting local experiences in both watersheds stemming from the previous years storm water damage, as well as case studies demonstrating appropriate and inappropriate construction and post-construction practices, were collected and utilized for program development.

A series of two one-day training programs were held on April 6, 2004 (Geneva, NY) and April 7, 2004 (Montour Falls, NY) to provide contractor training related to construction activities and Phase II Storm Water Regulations. Additional sponsorship for these programs was provided by Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association and Seneca Lake Area Partners in Five Counties, and the Keuka Lake Association.

This project also partnered with a workshop program sponsored by Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Yates and Steuben Counties, Keuka Watershed Improvement Cooperative, Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association and Seneca Lake Area Partners. The workshop presented information about Phase II Stormwater Management regulations, soil erosion and sediment controls for construction activities, and distribute copies of the 2005 updated Contractor Field Workbook.

Project Partners agreed to maximize regional storm water management efforts by sharing information concerning activities or programs they are participating in or may be taking place in their regions or around the state. This is being done in county-based water quality coordinating committees, local storm water management committees and by local presentations made by project partners with their elected officials. Two specific local government workshops, held by project partners from regional planning agencies, allowed participants to present information to elected officials and other individuals from the two watersheds and the wider region.

Contact: Mr. James Balyszak, (315) 536-5188


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