Cincinnati Collaborates With Hamilton County on a Watershed Approach to Stormwater
City of Cincinnati and its neighbor, Hamilton County, have joined forces
to control stormwater, that urban runoff triggered by rainstorms, which
must be channeled and treated so as not to become an environmental hazard.
Through a series of city/county workshops, the two local governments have
learned how to cooperate to meet this environmental challenge.
seed money from the Joint Center for Sustainable Communities, the Hamilton
County Wet Weather Initiative Committee held a successful Conference this
summer on promoting the "Watershed Approach to Stormwater
storm and floodwater management uses a comprehensive effort to address
multiple issues within a defined geographical area. The watershed approach
is a stakeholder driven process to identify problem areas, prioritize the
problems, and develop holistic, integrated solutions.
Swenson, Wet Weather Coordinator in EPA's Region V office in Chicago
highlighted what local government and developers should expect from new
federal stormwater regulations (NPDES Phase II) that were released in
November 1999. Nationwide, this program required compliance for about
110,000 smaller municipalities with populations under 100,000 and
additional political jurisdictions and owners and operator of storm sewer
systems located in urbanized areas. In Hamilton County alone, over 40
municipalities and townships will be subject to the Phase II regulations.
conference also featured a variety of "how to" workshops. The
final session of the day broke the seminar participants into three groups
based on the three primary watersheds in Hamilton County- the Great Miami
River, Little Miami River and the Mill Creek. Information concerning
current conservation efforts was shared and short and long-term objectives
were determined. Proceedings for this conference can be accessed at
watershed groups were reconvened at a follow-up seminar the Hamilton
County Wet Weather Initiative Committee sponsored on December 8, 1999 at
the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Science in Cincinnati, Ohio. The
engineering firm Fuller, Mossbarger, Scott and May provided a creative,
more detailed overview of the NPDES Phase II regulations through a town
meeting program. A copy of this program can be obtained by sending your
request to Holly Utrata-Halcomb at Hamilton County Soil & Water
Conservation District, 29 Triangle Park Drive, Suite 2901, Cincinnati,
watershed sessions focused on short-term obtainable objectives and
increasing communication. Public education and based line monitoring of
the streams are examples of spin-off projects that came from this session.
the addition of NPDES Phase II permits, the duties of public works
managers move beyond traditional drainage. Difficult decisions and complex
public policies must be considered. Elected and appointed officials must
consider the impacts of proposed projects on their communities and the
environment. Cincinnati and Hamilton County are getting a jump-start on
this task with as much public input as possible.