Parish storm water rules coming

March 8, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt

For many years federal and state environmental agencies have worked to monitor pollution from big industries and with many of those sources under control, they now seek to tackle sources not so easy to pinpoint, such as when muddy water runs off a construction site.

For one thing such pollution can contribute to drainage problem as Calcasieu Public Works Operations Manager Allen Wainwright explains. "Ditches ahead of the laterals will get silted in, filled in and it actually impedes or reduces the ability of those same ditches to carry the rainwater which we all know needs to go away when it rains or that's when it floods."

The new rules will require businesses to make sure the storm water that passes across their property and runs off is as clean as possible. "It's all about eliminating illegal or bad things from getting in the waterways to begin with. On a site by site basis it's illicit discharges which are more centered around chemicals or any kind of oils or greases that somehow make their way into the storm water system. From a construction standpoint it's mostly about erosion and dirt that runs off from a construction site and pretty simple measures can be taken to stop that," says Wainwright.

While parish officials will eventually enforce the rules for now they are focusing on educating people about the new requirements.

Also tonight, jurors approved an agreement with two other agencies to set up a local construction code enforcement office within parish planning. The state is providing $300-thousand dollars in funding.