BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath Township will soon participate in a county program to update the 2012 Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) for Green County, including the unincorporated areas of Bath, Beavercreek, Sugarcreek and Xenia Townships.
According to Bath Township Trustee John Martin, who attended a special meeting with county officials Aug. 29, the county must update the plan every five-to-seven years to comply with environmental regulations and state laws. Martin explained that a selected representative of the township would correspond with Amanda McKay, administrator of the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, during the various stages of the process. During the reviewing and revision of the SWMP, the township would collaborate with county officials and representatives of the other three urbanized townships.
“Amanda McKay will lead the way with this project,” Martin said during the Aug. 29 township meeting. “We need to have some contribution to the plan and outline where the urbanized areas are in this township.”
The 2012 Greene County Stormwater Management Plan outlines stormwater program activities, policies and implementation goals to reduce the discharge of stormwater pollutants and protect water quality in the county. The SWMP must also meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act in accordance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Phase II Program.
The SWMP is composed of six minimum control measures: public education, public involvement and participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site runoff control, post construction site runoff control, pollution prevention and good housekeeping. Most stormwater discharges from urban areas are considered point sources and require coverage by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Greene County and the four townships have no authority, other than what is specifically noted by the State of Ohio, to control the quality of stormwater discharge. However, the county does have the authority to address industrial and individual discharge into the county-owned sanitary sewer system.
“These plans that the EPA is calling for are really designed for cities who have what we call ‘home rule.’ They can build things, do things, and order things that townships can’t do in some cases because we are creatures of the state,” said Martin.
Martin pointed out that the board of trustees are responsible for the township’s participation in the county’s phase II compliance efforts. He encouraged the trustees to move forward with selecting a township representative who would communicate directly with McKay.
In a 3-0 vote, the township trustees appointed Township Cemetery Supervisor and Zoning Clerk Teresa Phillips as the township representative.
Martin said public participation would also be an important component of the SWMP, and county officials would be seeking citizens’ involvement in updating the plan and input on implementation priorities. He noted that citizens serving on the SWMP advisory committee best reflect the concerns and needs of the communities in urbanized areas. According to the 2010 United State Census, Bath Township’s population is 39,392, of whom 7,823 lived in unincorporated zones.
During the Sept. 5 township meeting, Martin said the township would need to provide a theme for the new SWMP.
“This existing plan is out of date and needs to be revised as soon as possible,” Martin said. “Therefore, we got to come up with a topic or campaign theme.”
The Bath Township Board of Trustees will meet again in regular session 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the township office building, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.