Please click on images of typical Benton County stormwater protection efforts along the Osage Creek in the Illinois River watershed on Oct. 15, 2007. Photos first published on this Web log and others months ago.
Ir is great news that a big multisource grant to reforest the riparian areas of the Illiinois watershed in Rogers is to be announced tomorrow, but how about making sure that highway contractors are educated and that those who plan highway projects and maintain them later are educated on the importance of keeping red-dirt silt and other foreign matter out of our streams?
The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Stormwater violations so common in Benton County that this headline sounds like a really bad joke. The lead sentence is misleading.
Benton County Meets Stormwater Requirements
By THE MORNING NEWS
Benton County has met all state and federal stormwater requirements, said Aaron Sadler, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality spokesman.
The agency sent County Judge Dave Bisbee a letter April 13 that shows the county's 2008 annual report has been reviewed and is compliant. The county is required to submit a stormwater plan report annually but had not done so since 2006, according to state records. Sadler said the plan submitted this year appears to be complete.
The county adopted an "enforcement mechanism" as part of its stormwater plan Jan. 30, according to county reports. Bisbee signed a court order just before the Feb. 1 state deadline.
The stormwater regulations are meant to curb sediment runoff from construction sites in the county's designated area. That area is 3 square miles of the most densely populated unincorporated areas, including Monte Ne and Prairie Creek. Federal regulations already apply to all construction sites disturbing 1 acre or more, and those that are smaller and part of a larger development, stormwater officials have said. However, the county must enforce regulations in the designated area.
The stormwater regulations mostly affect builders.
OBVIOUSLY, the ADEQ didn't investigate Benton County stormwater-violation sites or even send someone to drive the county's highways and take a peak at its construction sites. But some ADEQ person probably did read the report. I would love to read it. But it would be a laugh and cry situation.
Electing a Democratic governor hasn't changed a thing in the way stormwater regulations are enforced by ADEQ.