Certified Municipal Stormwater Inspector
Municipalities have great responsibilities that they are required to administer under their NPDES MS4 permits. In addition to managing their own stormwater discharges and the six required Minimum Control Measures (MCMs), they must also inspect Construction and Industrial Permittee activities within their jurisdictions, and by municipal code, they also inspect commercial activities. They often need to form alliances and partnerships with neighboring municipalities and watershed districts, they need to inform and educate their citizens, and their field personnel need to be ever-vigilent in identifying and preventing illicit discharges.
Military / Federal facilities can also have MS4, Industrial, and Construction permits. They have to follow the same rules, plus they must comply with Section 432 of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) which requires that post-construction hydrology not exceed pre-construction hydrology. Throughout the year the National Stormwater Center will conduct CSI-MS4 classes that are specifically designed to include Military / Federal personnel.
The MS4 Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) details the procedures and processes municipalities will follow to stay in compliance with their NPDES permit. It must address the six Minimum Control Measures which are:
Public Education and Outreach
Municipalities are required to provide educational stormwater materials to citizens, construction, industry, and commercial activities within their jurisdiction for the purpose of informing them about stormwater and how their actions impact pollutants in discharges.
Public Involvement and Participation
The Clean Water Act requires citizen involvement and participation in the stormwater pollution prevention process. Municipalities are required to engage their citizens in their Stormwater Management Program.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Municipalities are required to find and eliminate all sources of non-stormwater that enter their storm sewer system. Stormwater and meltwater are to be comprised entirely of water. Anything that gets to storm drains that is not water is considered illicit. This could be pet waste, cigarette butts and other trash, lawn clippings, spent oils and detergents, gravel and sand, and all other detritus that most of us are used to seeing on and along our roadways.
Management of Construction Site Run-Off
Municipalities are required to have an ordinance to manage stormwater run-off from construction projects that disturb one or more acres of land.
Management of Post-Construction Site Run-Off
Municipalities are required to address stormwater run-off from new development and redevelopment that disturb one or more acres of land. The goal of this control measure is to manage the stormwater where it falls to prevent it from running off of the property. This measure encourages the use of Low Impact Development, and requires that stormwater be retained on site, or treated on site, using Green Infrastructure technologies such as roof gardens.
Municipalities are required to implement good housekeeping practices.in their operations including (but not limited to) vehicle maintenance, open spaces, buildings, and infrastructure. This measure also requires street sweeping and cleaning of catch basins.
Not only do MS4 permittees need to implement the 6 MCMs, but they must also track and measure their effectiveness, and make corrections as needed.
Effective stormwater inspectors need to understand their MS4 permit and, their regulatory authority's construction and industrial permits. They need to help implement and manage their municipality's SWMP as well as inspect construction sites, industrial sites, and by municipal ordinance, all commercial activity in their jurisdiction. Understanding their role, their authority, and the demeanor they should display is critical to their success, and to the successful implementation of their community's stormwater pollution prevention program.
Permits require "Qualified Personnel" conduct inspections and be part of the Stormwater Team. National Stormwater Center certifies graduates. This certification indicates that the services conducted are being performed by professionals who have met the established standards of knowledge, experience, and competence required in the field of stormwater inspections. The National Stormwater Center's CSI-MS4 class has been an integral part of the success of 7,333 municipal inspectors across the country.