Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Benton County officials may have written a good plan but don't expect compliance

Please click on images of typical Benton County stormwater protection efforts along the Osage Creek in the Illinois River watershed on Oct. 15, 2007.

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

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.

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