June 10, 2004
Butler County Engineer and Storm Water Engineer Greg Wilkens presented the Storm Water District’s first Annual Report to the Butler County Commissioners today. The Report reviews first year activities that were implemented to meet the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Phase 2 permit, as mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
This update to the Commissioners emphasizes Butler County’s compliance with the federal mandate and the efficiency with which the program has been carried out. “Efficiency and cost have been major considerations,” Wilkens noted. “We now have a solid program in place that meets all federal requirements and is financially solvent. I’m proud of the way we’ve built the Butler County Storm Water District from the ground up in a little over a year.”
Public acceptance of the program has also been favorable. Wilkens noted that there are almost 56,000 parcels involved in the Storm Water District and yet his officials have logged fewer than 200 inquiries concerning drainage issues and billing.
Storm Water District – A Brief Overview
In accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposed strict new regulations on water quality in creeks, streams, lakes, and rivers. Adopted in 1999, this unfunded mandate requires certain communities to submit a plan which outlines how they propose to protect bodies of water from pollution.
The County Commissioners appointed the Butler County Engineer’s Office as the lead agency to develop the County’s Storm Water District, which is charged with evaluating the quality of storm water pollution runoff from construction sites, commercial and residential properties, as well as agricultural and park lands. The District is required to closely monitor storm water runoff for compliance. What the plan does not involve is resolving flooding issues or infrastructure maintenance, i.e., storm sewers and drainage facilities. All affected entities were required to obtain permit coverage by March 10, 2003.