L'burg almost finished with its drainage mapping

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lewisburg has nearly resolved issues it faces because of a state environmental order telling the city to comply with federal regulations on stormwater management.

Rain washing across pavement carries sediment to natural streams and causes sedimentation and, sometimes, pollution from petroleum products. If not controlled, stormwater flowing from a construction site can muddy waters, too.

Sedimentation threatens ecosystems, fish, plants and various creatures, so there are regulations which include requirements for documentation.

"The key is documentation," Councilman Ronald McRady said during last month's Council meeting.

In August, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation accepted Lewisburg's plan to resolve several issues - largely a lack of documentation - cited by a TDEC division director's order which included a $10,000 penalty.

"It was lowered to $9,000, but then they charged us an administrative fee of $546," City Treasurer Connie Edde said.

Lewisburg changed stormwater management directors, hired a private consultant and proceeded with a Corrective Action Plan, CAP.

"It's pretty much completed," City Manager Eddie Fuller said of the program being executed by Corey Pleas, the city's second stormwater management director.

Pleas has been mapping Lewisburg to show the direction of water flowing across pavement, into drains, through yards, fields and other grassy area.

Pleas is about three-quarters done in that mapping project, Fuller said.

Another aspect of Pleas' work is to spread the word on stormwater management to educate the public on how to help keep creek water clean.

Pleas and city consultant Jim Patterson of St. John Engineering have been making arrangements with Roy Dukes, the director of Marshall County Schools, so lessons may be taught to students on the subject of stormwater controls.

More training for Public Works employees is planed, according to the CAP. That way, if they see some things that need attention with regard to stormwater drainage, they'll know to call Pleas.

Meanwhile, there's not been much new construction as a result of the weakened economy, Fuller said. As a result there have been fewer issues arising at construction sites.

However, a checklist has been created on construction site issues and Pleas is to be consulted before a construction permit is issued, Fuller said.

Other matters recently addressed by the Council include a request to the state Legislature for a change in the city's Charter so that only the caption of a pending ordinance must be read aloud before it's adopted on a final vote. An amendment to the city's stormwater management ordinance was so long that Mayor Barbara Woods tape recorded the document and played the tape to officially comply with the regulation that she wants changed.