Tuesday, June 26, 2007


We enjoyed your article regarding storm water in New Albany, Indiana.
Here's some background information that might be helpful to your readers.

Storm water is a major source of water quality problems in urban areas, such as New Albany. Urban areas have a higher percentage of impervious surfaces such as sidewalks, rooftops and parking than rural areas or forested areas.

When it rains, storm water runoffs carries polluntants from these surfaces to the municpal seperate storm sewer system (MS4) and they flow directly to local waterways without any treatment. In contrast, your sanitary wastewater flows to a wastewater treatment plant where the pollutants are removed before being discharged to local waterways.

New Albany owns or operates a MS4. Federal regulations require MS4s designated by the permitting authority to apply for and obtain National Pollutant Discharge Eliminations Systems (NPDES) permits for their storm water discharges.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is the permit issuing authority in Indiana. The requirements that New Albany must follow are found in IDEM's rule entitled "Storm Water Runoff Associated with Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Conveyances" (Rule13). Please see the text of Rule 13 at:


In short, Rule 13 requires New Albany to develop a storm water management plan that address:

1) Educating the citizens of New Albany on the impacts of contaminated storm water to localm waterways.

2) Getting the public involved in the development of the storm water management plan.

3) Finding sources of non-storm water that eneter the the storm sewer system that could lead to pollution problems.

4) Developing a program to review construction site plans for erosion and sediment control.

5) Developing a program to look at storm water impacts from redeveopment projects.

6) Developing a pollution prevention and good housekeeping program for municipal operations.

Many municipalities develop storm water fees to fund their storm water programs. I looked at the New Albany Storm Water Board Website and they have also assessed a storm water fee.

This type of funding mechanism is becoming the choice of many municipalities that are required to apply for storm water permits.

The fee is based on the amount of impervious surface area per property. Homeowners pay lower fees than commercial and industrial sites. It is a fair way to fund the storm water program because all sites contribute to the runoff problem.

Remember the goal is to keep pollutants out of local waterways so the citizens of New Albany can enjoy them.

Brian Bell
Regional Storm Water Coordinator/
Wisconsin State Program Manager
U.S. EPA Region 5
Fax: 312-886-0168

Freedom of Speech would like to say:

New Albany should meet any and all mandates from EPA. Also, in reading his e-mail two words stood out loud and clear: "the choice" of funding mechanism of many municipalities. If our memory has not failed us: taxpayers were told this was the only choice.

We also agree with your treasurer Mrs. Garry when she stated, she prefers a City Fund not a Utility!

We understand it is the responsibility of the City Plan Commission, Redevelopment Commission, and County Plan Commission to stay up on EPA mandates for redevelopment projects being done in the City and County.

Isn't this why we pay them?

Freedom of Speech feels we "do not" need to spend $1,409,507.68 of taxpayer's dollars to:

* Educate citizens

* Getting the public involved

* Developing programs

How about cleaning storm drains, ditches and creeks instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on this bogus 2008 Stormwater Budget!