Program Building Resources for Small MS4s
There are roughly 425 small MS4s in the Bay watershed. Pennsylvania has the most with about 277, followed by Virginia (80), Maryland (60), New York (~40), and a handful in both Delaware and West Virginia. These small communities must develop local programs that meet six minimum management measures specified by EPA, and are issued five year Phase 2 stormwater permits. According to my sources at EPA Region 3, as many as 80% of these communities are on schedule to have their permits renewed or reissued in the next two years. The new round of permits for these small communities will undoubtedly contain more stringent conditions.
It’s tough to be a stormwater manager in a small MS4. These small communities, often with less than 10,000 residents, have few staff, low funding and limited experience to administer these new stormwater programs. And, to be fair, the States and EPA who write the small MS4s permits, haven’t done a great job helping small communities with much technical assistance, hands on training and resources to launch their new stormwater programs (at least so far). Small communities have been pretty much left to their own devices to figure out how to comply with their new permits.
The CSN recently conducted a seminar on building effective stormwater programs for Pennsylvania communities. The two day workshop was held in Swarthmore College, and was lead by Liz Garland of American Rivers. The seminar featured six short training modules for small MS4 stormwater managers. These modules present the basic small MS4 requirements and provide tips on how to build each program on a shoestring that other successful communities have used. The program building modules can be accessed below:
Small MS4 stormwater managers also are confronted by a blizzard of publications and websites on how to build a good stormwater program, most of which were created in bigger cities. The sheer volume of stormwater info is daunting. Some resources are great, but many are derivative, breezy, duplicative, or legalistic, and some are absolutely worthless.
As a service to overloaded folks across the Bay, CSN has compiled a “best of stormwater list” for 14 different categories of interest to the small MS4 stormwater manager.
If you see three happy faces on the list, it has CSN’s highest seal of approval for being truly useful.