Group is first statewide organization of its kind
Concern about the rate of development of urban storm water programs by municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit holders in Louisiana has prompted representatives of some of the permit holders to form the Louisiana Urban Stormwater Coalition.Working with leadership from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 Enforcement Division and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, representatives of active small MS4 programs in Louisiana have met and agreed to form this self-help coalition. This is the first statewide organization of its kind in the nation, according to the EPA.Local coordination and leadership is provided by Dr. Rod Hendrick, water quality specialist and professor with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.MS4s are divided into two general categories based on size. Louisiana has four large MS4s with populations of more than 100,000 and 110 small MS4s, Hendrick said. The small MS4s include metropolitan areas with populations of 100,000 to 10,000 and smaller areas or subdivisions with population densities of 1,000 people per square mile."The coalition will promote collaboration among storm water managers, educators, engineers, landscape architects, planners and regulators to develop solutions that maximize return on their investment of time, effort and funds," Hendrick said, adding that it also will give small towns access to effective solutions developed by larger municipalities.Membership in the coalition is open to all of the MS4s in the state. Associate memberships are available to consultants, suppliers and others interested in or involved in storm water management or protection.The first full meeting of the coalition was held Oct. 9 in Pineville, La., with speakers on the function and role of the coalition and sessions devoted to how to deal with tracking the construction storm water program, total maximum daily load and MS4 requirements, post-construction issues and watershed analysis tools.