Stormwater is one of the leading pollution sources to local streams and is, therefore, a regulatory and quality-of-life priority for all local municipalities that are connected by our watershed.
The Regional Stormwater MS4 Program
The Regional Stormwater MS4 Program works by each MS4 pooling funds into a common account and working together (under the guidance of our Alliance’s expert technical and education staff) in order to deliver a diverse outreach program that meets the needs of targeted audiences. Fees to participate in the program are based on the population of the MS4 or the combined population of co-permitted MS4s. The program has received high praise and recognition from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for the quality of its product and the thoroughness of its reporting. Our current membership and participating MS4s work as a team to accomplish shared goals and meet and exceed regulatory expectations under Rule 13, particularly as they related to Minimum Control Measures (MCM) 1 (Public Education and Outreach) and MCM 2 (Public Participation and Involvement) and outreach and training elements of MCM 4 (Construction Site Storm Water) and MCM 5 (Post-construction Storm Water Run-Off Control). Our nationally-recognized, fast-growing Clear Choices Clean Water public education and involvement campaign and its associated media promotions are the cornerstone to the program, as are our Trained Individual Contractor Training and our Homeowner/Landscapers Training Seminar. Common messages across municipal lines are uniting our region and raising the collective awareness of stormwater impacts.
Why Cooperation is Important
The scale of the water quality and quantity problems in Central Indiana requires coordinated regional action and the engagement of thousands of citizens. Every community shares the same common sources of pollution and the critical need for cooperation in regard to managing water supplies. Common messages create a bigger impact and allow us to engage many partners in the same call-to-action efforts. By developing and implementing a common stormwater outreach and engagement program under the Alliance, we are able to leverage financial and communication resources across communities, as well as seek grants unique to non-profit organizations and leverage the reach of significant non-municipal partners like museums, universities, state parks, etc. We also help coordinate bulk buys of outreach materials at lower prices, team up on incentive programs, and share physical training resources such as our table-top storm drain model.
The Program’s budget and activities are developed and delivered on a calendar year basis. It is possible for new MS4s to join mid-year at a pro-rated fee. For more information about the current year’s activities, annual fees, and/or joining the program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does this program meet MS4 Minimum Control Measure (MCM) Requirements?
Cities and towns and other MS4 entities are required under Rule 13 to address six MCMs. This program works to directly address Minimum Control Measures (MCM) 1 (Public Education and Outreach) and MCM 2 (Public Participation and Involvement), as well as outreach and training elements of MCM 4 (Construction Site Storm Water) and MCM 5 (Post-construction Storm Water Run-Off Control). Services provided by the Alliance are not intended to and do not substitute for an MS4’s responsibility to meet its applicable permit requirements for these MCMs. However, the Alliance’s services are intended to greatly benefit the MS4 in meeting these requirements. Services will supplement local program and help leverage other participating MS4 resources for implementation of a complementary regional program.
An annual report with several measurable outcomes is provided to each MS4 to assist in their permit reporting. Our program is designed around best practices for measuring education and participation impacts and outcomes. We do this through tracking and evaluating tangible pollution reduction numbers, as well as through a variety of media and program measurables related to website hits, views, impressions, electronic news open rates, program registrations, action pledges, partner outreach venues, etc.
Who is eligible to participate in the Alliance’s MS4 regional program?
Any MS4 located within the boundaries of the Upper White River Watershed (8-digit HUC 05120201) or in very near proximity is eligible to participate.
What does the program cost?
Fees for the program are based on population.
How are program activities and funds decided and allocated?
The Alliance’s Education Committee (made up primarily of participating MS4s) annually discusses program objectives and determines the next year’s activities. MS4 funds are held in a separate checking account and spent directly on the agreed upon budgeted activities. Regional Stormwater MS4 Program funds are not comingled with the Alliance general budget and associated activities; however, the Alliance routinely seeks grants and builds programs that complement the MS4 Program’s activities and goals.
Can I use some of the Program’s resources if my city/town is outside of the watershed?
Yes. Several of the programs and their associated materials such as Clear Choices Clean Water and the Trained Individual Program are available via a la carte pricing and participation.
Which communities are currently participating in the program?
Carmel, Cicero, Fishers, Hamilton County, McCordsville, Noblesville, Pendleton, Westfield, and Zionsville
Other municipalities/MS4s that are utilizing the programs’ resources include: Greenwood, Franklin, Elkhart, Goshen, Elkhart County, and Fort Wayne.
The below password protected area houses resources for our participating MS4s.