Water: Best Management Practices
A single regulatory agency or municipal office working alone cannot be as effective in reducing stormwater pollution as if it has the participation, partnership, and combined efforts of other groups in the community all working towards the same goal. The point of public involvement is to build on community capital—the wealth of interested citizens and groups—to help spread the message on preventing stormwater pollution, to undertake group activities that highlight storm drain pollution, and contribute volunteer community actions to restore and protect local water resources.
Phase II MS4s are required to follow all State, Tribal, and local public notice requirements when implementing their stormwater program. However, to be effective, opportunities for public involvement should be built into the fundamental process of community stormwater management. For example, an MS4 can offer opportunities to the public to participate in stormwater program development and implementation, through positions on a local stormwater management panel.
Public involvement also includes facilitating opportunities for direct action, educational, and volunteer programs such as riparian planting days, volunteer monitoring programs, stormdrain marking, or stream-clean up programs. Groups such as watershed groups and conservation corps teams who want to participate in promoting environmental causes should be encouraged and offered opportunities to participate in the stormwater management program.
Additional information on this minimum measure, including the stormwater Phase II regulatory requirements for public involvement/participation and a fact sheet on the public involvement/participation minimum measure (3 pp, 227K, About PDF), is also available.
Key BMPs and Resources:
After following public notice requirements, there are many different ways MS4s can involve the public in their stormwater program. An excellent guide on public involvement is EPA's Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed. The BMPs listed in the next section below present additional ways MS4s can involve the public.
- Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed (80 pp, 1.34MB, About PDF) - provides the tools needed to effectively identify, engage, and involve stakeholders throughout a watershed to restore and maintain healthy environmental conditions.
BMP Fact Sheets:
The fact sheets in this section describe BMPs and how to use them to help municipal stormwater programs and construction site operators comply with the stormwater Phase II requirements.
EPA has started updating these fact sheets to include new practices and technologies. Several of these updated fact sheets are now available in PDF format.
- Adopt-A-Stream Programs
- Reforestation Programs
- Storm Drain Marking
- Stream Cleanup and Monitoring
- Volunteer Monitoring
- Wetland Plantings
EPA Internet Resources:
- Stormwater case studies on public involvement includes case studies of how a Phase I or Phase II community has implemented the public involvement requirements.
- EPA's Volunteer Monitoring Program provides information on developing and implementing a volunteer monitoring program.
- Community-Based Watershed Management describes the highly successful approaches to watershed management implemented by the 28 National Estuary Programs (NEPs).
Other Internet Resources:
- Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring: Guide for Growing CSREES Volunteer Monitoring Programs is a modular guide providing information on building and supporting a volunteer monitoring program.
- Indiana Storm drain Marking Program offers resources to help communities mark storm drains with a "no dumping" or similar message.
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Drain Marking Program offers information on ready-made storm drain marking kits for community groups.
- Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper's Get the Dirt Out works with citizens, developers, and local governments to investigate and study Georgia's measures to reduce stormwater pollution from construction sites.
Note: If you are referencing this page, please use this alias web address: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/publicinvolvement