Federal and state permit compliance
Just as we as residents have laws we must abide by in order to have a safe and cohesive country, local governments have laws, or mandates, they must abide by as well. One of those is the Clean Water Act.
The Clean Water Act
On October 18, 1972, the Federal Water Pollution Act of 1972 was enacted. Better known as the Clean Water Act, it was established "... to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters." This act ensures that residents can be confident that their local communities are working diligently to protect the waters in their area.
Point Source Pollution
The Clean Water Act first established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit system to control pollutants in the form of direct or point source discharges, which enter our Nation's waters directly from industrial sites and wastewater treatment facilities. By 1985, there was a marked improvement in the quality of America's rivers and streams as a result of this landmark legislation, but there were still problems that needed to be addressed.
Non-point Source Pollution
The Water Quality Act of 1987 amended the NPDES permit system to address non-point source pollution. Non-point source pollution is created when pollutants from across the watershed are carried by storm water into area waters. For example, the oil and gas that drips from our cars; not to mention the trash thrown out of the window - collect on roadways and parking lots and eventually rushes unobstructed into local waterways. This is one example of non-point source pollution.
Municipal Separate Sewer System (MS4)
Non-point source pollution is one of the biggest threats facing the health of our Nation's waters. For this reason, the Federal Government has required that the City of Ringgold, and hundreds of other towns of similar size all across the country, meet certain guidelines in how to properly manage storm water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Municipal Separate Sewer System (MS4) NPDES Permit System to address non-point source pollution. The MS4 storm water discharge permit establishes guidelines for local governments to minimize pollutants in storm water runoff to the "maximum extent practicable."
Phase II Permit
Because the City of Ringgold population was more than 100,000 in the 2000 Census, it was designated a NPDES Phase II municipality by the EPA. This designation required the City of Ringgold to develop a storm water management program addressing six key areas:
Public involvement the program
Elimination of unlawful discharges
Controls on new construction
Post-construction management of wet weather runoff
Implementation of good housekeeping activities for municipal operations
In accordance with the Phase II permit, the City of Ringgold was required to develop, implement, and enforce Best Management Practices (BMP's) for storm water management.
For Our Future
By working proactively, the City of Ringgold is taking the extra steps needed to ensure that the storm water problems of The City of Ringgold are not left for our children to fix.
Quality of Life
Whether you know it or not, all of us are directly affected by the status of the Chickamauga Creek. The health of the creek and its tributaries affects the quality of life for your family.
In addition to providing safe water for the community to drink, the Chickamauga Creek facilitates recreation for our residents and is home to a variety of wildlife that depends on the creekr for life.
Poor storm water management can lead to destruction of the ecosystem. Pollutants such as bacteria, sediment, oil and grease, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, and trash, run from our roadways, parking lots, and yards, into the creek and severely disrupt this fragile system.
Public Education and Capital Improvements
Through public education and capital improvements, the City of Ringgold Storm Water Program will act to make sure that our rivers and streams are safe for the inhabitants of The City of Ringgold to enjoy for years to come.
The state of our waterways not only affects your family, but also the growth of the community depends on it as well. Storm Water must be properly managed if we are to continue to grow in a manner that also accommodates protection of our water resources, which has been the lifeblood of our county since its founding.
Standards Before Building
The implementation of the City of Ringgold storm water program will encourage quality growth in the community. Developments that take measures to limit storm water runoff and contribute to a healthy watershed will be encouraged. By adopting a new Storm Water Management Ordinance, The City of Ringgold policymakers have ensured that developers have standards before they build, and all property designs can begin to incorporate sensitivity for long-term environmental stewardship.
Developers and City of Ringgold Staff Work Together
Pre-application meetings will be conducted between developers and The City of Ringgold staff to ensure that there are no surprises in the permitting process, as it will now relate to storm water management. These measures, and more, will ensure quality growth continues in the City of Ringgold.