Coverage from Callaway - Storm Water Rules
The last Coverage from Callaway explained Phase II, the storm water program which shifts responsibility for monitoring construction site runoff from the state to local governments.
There's a five-year deadline to implement Phase II by March 2008. Because of its growing population in some areas, Callaway is one of the counties that must implement the program.
But the first step is knowing about the program, which the Callaway County Commission did not until two months ago.
"We were informed of this on April 13 of this year," said Presiding Commissioner Lee Fritz. "We were supposed to have been informed in 2003. So, therefore, we've already lost three years. The clock is ticking."
A Department of Natural Resources email stated, "Callaway County is subject to the storm water regulations that became effective March 10, 2003. A permit application, fee and program plan had to be submitted by that date."
Callaway County wasn't informed because DNR first notified Missouri's biggest cities and counties.
"The priorities have been, obviously, the large metropolitan areas because that's where you're going to have most of the storm water pollution," said DNR storm water coordinator Roy Williford, who added the agency won't penalize Callaway County for not having its plan ready because of the state's late notification.
DNR will also continue to monitor construction sites in the county while the agency helps Callaway implement its own program.
"We don't have it all spelled out yet, but some entity's going to have to do the inspection, plan reviews, things like that," said Paul Winkelmann, county highway administrator. "I'm assuming it will probably be the Road and Bridge Department to do that."
One option is to work with other counties or cities that must implement Phase II.
"We've contacted Cole County, the city of Jefferson City, and the city of Holts Summit, because this area affects all four of us public entities," explained Western District Commissioner Doc Kritzer. "We're trying to work together as a group, so we can have consistent regulations for everybody."
Cities and counties could also decide to share an inspector. The Callaway County Commission is not sure how to pay for the program. One option could be a storm water fee on residents' bills.