University's storm water management program follows control measures
New Mexico State University's Storm Water Management Program for the Las Cruces campus includes six minimum control measures, as required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The program fulfills an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that the university take steps to reduce the discharge of any pollutants as much as possible.
The program is especially important as the campus goes into the summer season, when storms can wash debris and other materials into the drainage system.
The annual report to the EPA on the progress being made can be found at: http://ofs.nmsu.edu/Webdocs/2010%20NMSU%20Annual%20Report%20w%20Appendices.pdf.
The report includes the following six minimum control measures the university is implementing to comply with the EPA requirement (according to the EPA, the university is considered to be the operator of a municipal separate storm sewer system):
1. Public education and outreach: Distributing educational materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted storm water runoff discharges can have on water quality.
2. Public participation/involvement: Providing opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation, including effectively publicizing public hearings and/or encouraging citizen representatives on a storm water management panel.
3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination: Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste).
4. Construction site runoff control: Developing, implementing and enforcing an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land (controls could include silt fences and temporary storm water detention ponds).
5. Post-construction runoff control: Developing, implementing and enforcing a program to address discharges of post-construction storm water runoff from new development and redevelopment areas. Applicable controls could include preventative actions such as protecting sensitive areas (e.g. wetlands) or the use of structural BMPs such as grassed swales or porous pavement.
6. Pollution prevention/good housekeeping: Developing and implementing a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. This program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques (e.g. regular street sweeping, reduction in the use of pesticides or street salt, or frequent catch-basin cleaning).
For more information, the Storm Water Management Program can be viewed online at http://ofs.nmsu.edu/Webdocs/NMSU%20Storm%20Water%20Plan.pdf.
Written by Darrell J. Pehr.