This is a short version of how the Clean Water Act resulted in the formation of the Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership. Go to Clean Water Act for a broader and more detailed look at this legislation or go to IDEM Stormwater for more information on Indiana’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program. (Credit goes to IDEM for the following explanation of the regulations.)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Clean Water Act Phase I: The federal Clean Water Act requires storm water discharges from certain types of urbanized areas to be permitted under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. In 1990, Phase I of these requirements became effective, and municipalities with a population served by a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) of 100,000, or more, were regulated.
Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) – Phase I: In Indiana, storm water discharge permits are issued by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Under Phase I requirements, only the City of Indianapolis met the designation criteria, and was issued an individual NPDES storm water permit.
EPA – Clean Water Act Phase II: In 1999, Phase II of the Clean Water Act became effective, and any entity responsible for an MS4 conveyance, regardless of population size, could potentially be regulated.
IDEM – Phase II: To comply with Phase II requirements, a new general NPDES permit rule was written. The new general permit rule, referred to as Rule 13, provided permit coverage for most Phase II MS4 entities: cities, towns, universities, colleges, correctional facilities, hospitals, conservancy districts, homeowner’s associations and military bases located within mapped urbanized areas, as delineated by the United States Census Bureau; or, for those MS4 areas outside of urbanized areas, serving an urban population greater than 7,000 people.
When officials in the Cities of Goshen and Elkhart, the Town of Bristol, and Elkhart County became aware of their need to comply with this regulation by submitting a Stormwater Quality Management Plan (SWQMP) to IDEM explaining how they would accomplish this, they agreed to work together. By submitting one plan they are able to save money, duplication, and unnecessary differences in policies within the county. Each entity has a Stormwater Board that controls how the funds generated in that jurisdiction are spent. The highest ranking elected official within the Partnership, Mike Yoder the President of the Elkhart County Commissioners, serves as the Stormwater Operator. Ryan Clussman serves as the Stormwater Coordinator.
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