Dracut's Stormwater Obligation
Dracut is one out of over 200 Massachusetts towns that discharge stormwater under U.S. EPA's NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems permit (the MS4 Permit). This 5-year permit, jointly issued by EPA and MassDEP, requires towns to meet six minimum control measures Dracut must report on its progress by sending in Annual Reports each May 1 to EPA and MassDEP. The six minimum control measures are:
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations - This measure addresses runoff from municipal operations such as DPW yards, salt storage areas, vehicle maintenance yards, road construction, and includes what practices towns should undertake to operate the stormwater system effectively. Towns must:
- Develop an operations and maintenance plan for their stormwater system.
- Train employees on how to incorporate pollution prevention and good housekeeping practices into their activites (e.g., vehicle and building maintenance, salt piles, and catch basin cleaning).
- Must have an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Program - Illicit discharges are non-stormwater discharges to the storm drain system. Because illicit discharges typically contain bacteria and other pollutants, the MS4 Permit requires towns to develop and implement an IDDE program that includes these elements:
- A legally enforceable mechanism prohibiting illicit discharges.
- A storm sewer map identifying the location of all storm drain outfalls.
- A plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges.
- Construction Site Runoff Control - The federal Construction General Permit already requires owner/operators to file a Notice of Intent for construction activity disturbing more than one acre of land. Towns may wish to adopt stricter local rules. Minimum requirements include adoption of:
- Legally enforceable mechanism to control erosion during construction.
- Procedures for municipal site plan review of construction projects.
- Post Construction Runoff Control - This measure requires ongoing stormwater management after construction is completed. Requirements include:
- Adopt a legally enforceable mechanism to control stormwater after construction.
- Establish procedures for long-term operation and maintenance of BMPs
- Public Education and Outreach - Towns are encouraged to form partnerships to distribute educational materials to diverse local audiences within the community as part of a formal public education program.
- Public Participation and Involvement - EPA suggests that communities give the public the opportunity to play an active role in developing and implementing the MS4 program. Towns must comply with applicable public notice requirements and determine the program's implementation goals and strategies.