Considerations to Help Comply with the MS4 Stormwater Permit
Phase I and Phase II MS4 Stormwater Permits require regular ongoing inspections and monitoring within the long-term stormwater management minimum control measure.
MS4s often find themselves scrambling to achieve the minimum standard to accomplish these inspections, which is often a percentage total annually but in some cases may be more frequent due to high priority areas. Most MS4s have been so busy trying to achieve this minimum standard that they fail to consider or calculate how much time they are spending with their current process to locate and access ongoing long term stormwater management plan documents and inspections, reviewing these documents and inspections, communicating with on-site personnel following an inspection and the follow-up required from any outstanding corrective action items prescribed by the MS4. This key consideration for MS4s must be addressed and solved in order to accomplish the requirements of MS4 stormwater permits and to ultimately achieve their compliance objectives.
Fortunately, today’s technology provides a way to drastically reduce the amount of time MS4 inspectors spend locating and accessing long term stormwater management documents and inspections, reviewing these documents and inspections, communicating with on-site personnel following an inspection, and the follow-up required from any outstanding corrective action items prescribed by the MS4. You guessed it, goodbye guesswork of who is and isn’t doing inspections, submitting them in a timely manner, and where all these documents are! This cat and mouse game has to stop in order for everyone to start saving time.
So, where are the documents and inspection logs kept? On site? How do I access them easier? MS4s are starting to require that permittee documents are submitted electronically and maintained digitally on the cloud for access. This includes all inspections, logs, map updating, and more. Perhaps the biggest advantage of leveraging technology applies to the permittees themselves and the inspection forms needed to prove ongoing compliance. Most long-term stormwater management requirements are a fair mystery to building and facility owners and managers, especially considering the infrequent inspection and reporting requirements. Success is being proven where long-term permittees have been given a required form and process to report back to regulating MS4s. These updated processes not only allow the permittees an easier method to keep track of all the documentation that long-term stormwater regulations require, but it also solves the key consideration facing every MS4 that is serious about complying with their MS4 permit. MS4s can now utilize and require a technology solution that will solve this issue for both sides!