Did you know that a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inventory found that half of the impaired waterways in the country are directly linked to stormwater runoff from urban / suburban areas and construction site activities? Consider for a moment the impacts that pollutants generated from everyday life could have on our local water resources. Toxic chemicals from automobiles can lead to an increase in heavy metals and oils and greases, careless application of fertilizers can contributed to algal blooms severely degrading healthy aquatic environments, improper disposal of yard or pet wastes could make nearby water bodies unsuitable for wading, swimming or fishing, and poorly managed construction sites have been blamed for erosion and sediment migration, property damage, and destruction of local habitat.
Federal & State Mandates
To address these local concerns, federal stormwater regulations commonly known as "Stormwater Phase II," required "urbanized area" municipalities like the City of Ithaca to develop a Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) management program. With direction from the State of New York, the City of Ithaca was required to identify Best Management Practices (BMPs) in 2003 to help protect water quality. Six goals were established to educate and involve the public, develop an identification and enforcement program for illegal stormwater discharges, manage construction activities, and create in-house municipal stormwater pollution prevention measures. Visit the links below for an overview of city requirements and how these programs affect your community: