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* News Release *
Thursday, September 4, 2003
For Immediate Release


Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens presented a comprehensive funding plan for the countywide Storm Water District to the Butler County Commissioners today. This plan was developed by an Advisory Committee formalized by Wilkens to evaluate the financial needs of the District. The Committee was an outgrowth of the original Storm Water Steering Committee and consisted of representatives from local government agencies, chambers of commerce, developers, environmental groups, the Farm Bureau, and the Home Builders Association.

The Advisory Committee has established an annual budget of $957,400 to implement the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Phase 2 permit. This budget is based on an annual rate of $13.00 per year for one ERU (Equivalent Residential Unit), which equals 4,000 square feet of impervious area. The Committee has recommended that the rate be in conjunction with an impervious area measurement. An impervious area is described as any area where rainfall is not absorbed by the ground, such as driveways, parking lots, and rooftops.

Based on the plan, owners of single-family residential, vacant, and agricultural parcels will be billed as one ERU, or $13.00 per year. All other parcels, including multi-family, industrial, and commercial, will be billed based upon their impervious area. It is important to emphasize that the bill will not be based on total square feet of the parcel, but on the square feet of impervious area only.

Wilkens noted that compared with other drainage districts in Ohio, these proposed rates are among the most reasonable. "Our Advisory Committee and staff at the Engineer's Office worked diligently to deliver the most cost-effective plan to meet this new federal mandate," he said. "When the federal government requires that you implement a plan to meet strict new regulations but provides no money to do so, a funding plan must be developed at the local level. We feel that this is a realistic and efficient plan."

For more on the establishment of the Storm Water District funding proposal, click here.

Storm Water Management - A Brief Overview

In accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) imposed strict new regulations on water quality in creeks, streams, lakes, and rivers. Adopted in 1999, this unfunded mandate requires certain communities to submit a plan which outlines how they propose to protect bodies of water from pollution.

The Butler County Commissioners appointed the Engineer's Office as the lead agency to develop Butler County's Storm Water District, which will evaluate the quality of storm water pollution runoff from construction sites, commercial and residential properties, as well as agricultural and park lands. The District will be required to closely monitor storm water runoff and possibly fine offenders. What the plan does not involve is resolving flooding issues or infrastructure maintenance, i.e., storm sewers and drainage facilities. All affected entities were required to obtain permit coverage by March 10, 2003.

During 2002, a steering committee was assembled by the BCEO to formalize the plan for the Storm Water District in Butler County. Monthly meetings were held to address OEPA's six minimum control measures, including construction site runoff control, pollution prevention, and public outreach. Then in 2003, an advisory committee was established to identify a funding plan for the newly established District.

For details about the development of Butler County's Storm Water District, please see the web site that has been developed for Storm Water Management.

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For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849

Questions or comments about this web site? Email to BCEO Webmaster.

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