History of the Clean Water Act
Growing public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution led to the enactment of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA). This law required the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address stormwater in two phases of the National Pollutant Elimination System (NPDES):
- Phase I was publicized in 1990 to address stormwater runoff from:
- Municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) generally serving populations of 100,000 or greater.
- Construction activity disturbing five acres of land or greater.
- Eleven categories of industrial activity.
- Phase II went into effect in early 2003 and expanded the program to include smaller communities (population of less than 100,000) and land disturbance on one acre or greater.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit
The City of Pittsburg’s MS4 permit is issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and has six requirements:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Participation and Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Runoff Control
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Stormwater management utility
As a result of these laws and in order to provide an appropriate level of funding to maintain and operate the stormwater system, the City of Pittsburg implemented a stormwater management utility in 2003. The main purpose of the stormwater management utility was to create a dedicated revenue source to finance additional capital improvement projects and to provide an increased level of system maintenance and repair.
The stormwater management utility is funded through a monthly fee paid by the owners of all properties in the City.
Stormwater utility fees:
- The Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), which means the average impervious area of residential property per dwelling unit located within the City, is 3,106 square feet of impervious area.
- The ERU rate, which means the stormwater utility fee charged for each ERU, is $3.86 per month as of January 1, 2017.
- The Undeveloped Property Rate, which means the stormwater utility fee charged on each acre of undeveloped property, is 0 percent.