Austin residents who blow mown grass into the street may get attention from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, or, at least, the city could be directed to take action. But that is only one area on a list of items ADEQ could be evaluating during a compliance visit Wednesday.
Austin Code Enforcement Officer Scott Kelly, at the Austin City Council meeting on Wednesday, told aldermen of the upcoming visit. The visit is required under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit held by Austin. The MS4 permit is part of pollution control measures set out by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
The NPDES MS4 permit makes the city responsible for managing drainage, Kelly said.
MS4 permit holders are required to develop and implement a Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) that must include pollution prevention measures, treatment or removal techniques, monitoring, use of legal authority, and other appropriate measures to control the quality of storm water discharged to the storm drains.
The ADEQ evaluators will examine Austin’s stormwater management program, Kelly said.
While city functions will be the focus of the visit, residential areas also are considered, Kelly said. Among the areas considered are whether residents are disposing of grass cuttings by blowing it into the street, and if used motor oil is being poured into drainage ditches, he said.
The evaluators will be in vehicles with ADEQ markings, Kelly said.