PUBLIC MEETING SCHEDULED TO DISCUSS STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN

PUBLIC MEETING SCHEDULED TO DISCUSS STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN

A public meeting will be held Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003, at 6 p.m. in the Doña Ana County Commission Chambers at 251 W. Amador Ave., to receive public input concerning county preparations for a Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP).

The SWMP is required by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency for all small municipal storm sewer systems located in “urbanized areas” and for small construction activities that disturb equal to or larger than one acre and less than five acres of land. DAC is classified as a qualifying storm water discharger and is required to submit a SWMP to EPA for review.

EPA rules require SWMPs to improve the nation’s waterways by reducing the quantity of untreated pollutants that storm water can pick up and discharge into local rivers and streams. Common storm water pollutants include oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns, sediment from construction sites or open areas, and carelessly discarded trash. When deposited into waterways, these pollutants can impair the waterways, thereby contaminating drinking water supplies, interfering with the habitat for fish and wildlife, and discouraging recreational use of the waterway.

The county’s proposed SWMP outlines programs to develop, implement and enforce a plan designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable. The SWMP comprises six “Minimum Control Measures” that, when implemented, are expected to result in significant reductions of pollutants discharged into water bodies. The Doña Ana County Environmental Services Department is working with various departments under the county to evaluate and develop “Best Management Practices.”

Public comments during the Aug. 14 meeting will be considered in the SWMP development process.

If you have any questions, please contact the Doña Ana County Environmental Services at (505) 647-7117 or county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 647-7229. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7229.