Thursday, September 19, 2013

[117] Public meeting set Sept. 17 for MTSU Stormwater annual report

MURFREESBORO — MTSU and the City of Murfreesboro’s Water and Sewer Department are inviting the public to attend an upcoming meeting on how campus stormwater is being handled.

The MTSU Stormwater Annual Report Public Meeting will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Patterson Park Community Center, Meeting Room A. The meeting will highlight the annual report and outcomes of the program.

“We want the outreach to be effective,” said Shelia Knight, an environmental engineer with MTSU Environmental Health and Safety Services. “The whole idea is to reduce the pollutants in our streams.”

MTSU and the city jointly operate a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System MS4 Permit. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation requires the permit as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act of 1972.

This is the second year of the program for MTSU and also the second year of the co-permit between the city and the university.

Both the TDEC and the permit process require MTSU and the city to hold a public meeting to encourage public participation and community involvement with the programs.

The primary goal of this permit is improving surface-water quality by reducing pollutants in the runoff water. Outreach efforts have included coordination of volunteer tree-planting and litter-pick-up events in the community and on campus.

“You can’t do it without the public,” said Cynthia Allen, a Stormwater Program coordinator. “That’s the requirement of the permit. You have to have public education and public participation.”

Polluted stormwater runoff is commonly transported through Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems, also called MS4s, where it is often discharged untreated into local bodies of water. To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into such a system, operators must obtain a permit and develop a stormwater management program.

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