Saginaw Area Storm Water Authority
Monday, February 18th 2019

_SASWA History - SASWA Meets CWA Deadline

NPDES Article 1 | NPDES Article 2 | NPDES Phase II Chart | CWA Deadline

Saginaw Area Storm Water Authority Meets CWA Deadline
The Saginaw Area municipalities worked cooperatively in meeting the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) storm water permit requirements and submittal deadline through establishment of the Saginaw Area Storm Water Authority (SASWA). The SASWA is a partnership of regulated municipalities that was established through a consensus decision-making process for the purpose of obtaining a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Watershed Based General Permit.

The Phase II requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) regulate operators of MS4s in small urbanized areas with a residential population of 50,000 or more and a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, based on the 2000 census, to comply with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Permit Program. Municipalities in over 300 small urbanized areas in Michigan are to have met these requirements by March 10, 2003. Municipality means a town, township, county, school district, university, state facility, association, or other public bodies created by or under State law and Federal Indian Reservations. In addition, the Phase II Permit Program will require NPDES storm water permits for construction sites over 1 acre and industrial and construction sites previously exempted.

The Phase I requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act were implemented in the 1990's and affected the following communities: Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, Sterling Heights, and Warren. These municipalities were classified as “large” or “medium” MS4s under Phase I. Over the next decade, the goal is to address storm water and the pollutants transported by runoff from storm events in urbanized areas that the waters of the nation will become cleaner and more “recreation friendly” for residents of our nation.

Michigan's regulated municipalities have two options. One being covered by Michigan's MS4 Watershed Approach General Permit, which requires partnerships with jurisdictions and other stakeholders, consensus-based decision-making, and sound management techniques based on strong science and data. The second option is to obtain coverage under the traditional Jurisdictional Approach General Permit based on jurisdictional political boundaries requiring individual storm water management programs for each individual entity.

In January 2001 Spicer Group, Inc. hosted an educational seminar for regulated communities and continued to educate and solicit ideas on how to organize a cohesive group to obtain a Watershed Approach General Permit. In January 2002, Jim Koski, the Saginaw County Public Works Commissioner, hosted the first organizational meeting, which included Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) representation. With the support of key municipal planners, DPW managers and township supervisors the Saginaw Clean Water Alliance was formed as a study group to begin the formation and structure for the authority. Spicer Group was requested to facilitate communication and provide record keeping, educational, and technical support for establishment of the SASWA under Michigan's Municipal Sewage and Water Supply Systems Act, Act 233 of 1955.

Spicer Group, Saginaw County Public Works Commissioner and the regional MDEQ representative identified the proposed watershed boundaries. Spicer Group researched known point source discharges for mapping requirements and developed the SASWA goals as required by Michigan's Watershed Based General Permit application. With reviews by SASWA's membership, Spicer Group developed an Illicit Discharge Elimination Plan and a Public Education Plan and is working with SASWA to implement these plans. Applicants have 6 months to seek public participation and two years to develop a single Watershed Management Plan. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Initiative (SWPPI) must identify individual jurisdiction commitments within 2 ½ years. Plans must be revised within 6 months of the permit expiration date. Annual Reports are also required. The advantages include opportunities for local control and flexibility, consensus building, sharing of resources reducing duplication of efforts and integration with local water quality actions.

This storm water quality permit has 6 minimum measures that incorporate best management practices (BMPs) and cover: Public Education; Public Involvement; Illicit Discharge Elimination; Construction BMPs; Post Construction BMPs; and Storm Water Pollution Prevention actions. The BMPs must be measurable and apply the best technology to the “maximum extent practicable”.

Michigan's Watershed Based General Permit concept is a pilot approach granted to the MDEQ by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is subject to EPA review in 2007, if not successful, municipalities will have to get individual or jurisdictional based permits.

In Saginaw County the members of the authority include the following municipalities and townships: Birch Run Township, Bridgeport Charter Township, Buena Vista Charter Township, Carrollton Township, James Township, Kochville Township, Saginaw-city, Saginaw Charter Township, Spaulding Township, Thomas Township, Tittabawassee Township, Zilwaukee. The following school districts: Bridgeport-Spaulding Schools, Saginaw Township Community Schools, Saginaw Intermediate School District, Swan Valley School District. Additional members: Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw County Road Commission, Saginaw County Public Works Commissioner, and Saginaw Regional Correctional Facility. In total there are 20 members in the Authority.

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