by Ms. Kyle J. Zieba
It was truly rewarding watching professionals from Prince William and Fairfax counties in Virginia help lead our recent training exercises in how to ensure towns follow the rules when it comes to preventing municipal stormwater pollution.
Our EPA team worked with these counties to strengthen their stormwater programs following compliance inspections in 2011. And now here they were at the front of the class showing others how to do the job right.
Stormwater runoff is a leading cause of pollution in our rivers and streams. Over the last few years, EPA has worked with many municipalities and counties in the region to improve their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) compliance. As a result, many local governments have stepped up to better their operations.
Today, Prince William and Fairfax counties are proactively managing their MS4 compliance obligations, and sharing their experiences.
The counties recently hosted, and joined EPA, in leading the training sessions for state inspectors from throughout the mid-Atlantic region on how to check for stormwater violations. They explained some of their model procedures and led the trainees through mock inspections, a demonstration in detecting illicit discharges, and other activities.
One of EPA’s priorities, launching a new era of local partnerships, is on full display in our MS4 compliance work with Fairfax and Prince William counties. By working together, we’re demonstrating a new paradigm for how compliance assurance activities to protect human health and the environment can lead to long-term collaboration and shared accountability.
About the author: Ms. Zieba is an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Enforcement Officer in the Water Protection Division in EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office.