Stormwater pollution impacts water quality, public health and the local economy of the communities we live and serve in. Ensuring that municipal and state water systems are clean and well-maintained is a major part of protecting the communities we inhabit and building a sustainable, long-term solution to stormwater pollution. In a new guide, the Environmental Protection Agency asserts, “early and effective stormwater planning and management by communities as they develop will provide significant long-term cost savings while supporting resilience, economic growth and quality of life.”
To assist in the creation of effective stormwater management plans, the EPA has released a draft guide for state and municipal governments, Community Solutions for Stormwater Management: A Guide for Voluntary Long-Term Planning. This guide provides concrete steps communities can take to develop and implement their own plans, involving regular pipe inspection and maintenance, and investment in environmentally conscious infrastructure. It details the steps needed to build new and improve existing stormwater management infrastructure, steps that can be tailored to fit each individual community, improving water quality and public health. The EPA is also providing coordinated technical assistance to five cities across the country to build stormwater management plans. These communities will serve as national models and inform the final draft of the EPA guide.
Additionally, the EPA intends to release a toolkit that will provide technical and financial resources for community leaders and serve as a supplement to the written guide. In the meantime, communities looking to get a jump on creating or adjusting their stormwater management plans can utilize all the other resources from the agency, including other toolkits and guides for stormwater and stormwater infrastructure management.