Originally presented at StormCon 2023.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are approximately 7,550 entities that are implementing an MS4 Program (855 under Phase I and 6,695 under Phase II). By federal law, every MS4 program manager is required to carry out the same six minimum control measures: public education, public outreach, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction, post construction, and pollution prevention/good housekeeping. These minimum control measures have not changed since the inception of the MS4 Program in 1990. To effectively address stormwater pollution, MS4 program staff depend on cooperation from citizens, businesses, and visitors. However, recent Gallup polls indicate that, overall, U.S. citizens are much more concerned with the government, the high cost of living, and the economy than they are about the environment. Stormwater did not surface as an area of concern, which is understandable. The 7,550 stormwater program managers across our country face the same two challenges: 1. To prevent stagnation as they implement a 32-year-old regulatory program; and 2. To attract their citizens’ interest and attention to an often-overlooked issue. Fortunately, both challenges can be met with a single solution: don’t let stormwater be stale. This presentation will describe the resourcefulness and innovation of a dozen North Carolina communities in engaging their citizens, inspiring their own teams, increasing their program’s efficiencies, and most of all, protecting and improving water quality. Dozens of creative initiatives that span all six of the minimum control measures will be showcased. In addition, the presentation will suggest five overall approaches for freshening a stale MS4 Program.
About the Presenter
Annette Lucas, PE is the Stormwater Program Practice Lead at McAdams in Raleigh, NC. Prior to joining McAdams, she served as the manager of the NC DEQ Stormwater Program, and led the MS4 Program, the Post-Construction Program and the NPDES Industrial Stormwater Program. Annette led a stakeholder team that overhauled North Carolina’s stormwater rules that went in 2017. Her contributions have expanded the use of green infrastructure practices such as permeable pavement and bioretention cells.