Public Education and Outreach
The public education and outreach minimum control measure consists of best management practices (BMPs) and program elements that focus on development of educational materials designed to inform the public about the impacts of stormwater discharges on waterbodies. Educational materials generally describe how the public can help to reduce pollutants in stormwater.
This Minimum Control Measure requires MS4s to develop and implement an ongoing public education and outreach program that describes the impacts of stormwater discharges on waterbodies, the pollutants of concern and their sources, and steps that contributors of stormwater and non-stormwater discharges can take to reduce the pollutants.
In certain areas that have current Watershed Improvement Strategies and/or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations, the regulated community is required to address specific types of contamination in their education and outreach program such as phosphorous, nitrogen and/or pathogens. Additionally, the program must address specified sources of these contaminants whether from septic systems, construction sites, fertilizer use, animal or pet wastes.
Target audiences who are in need of stormwater education and outreach must be identified and the education and outreach programs should be tailored to the specific needs of each group. Such audiences may include but are not necessarily limited to: elected municipal officials, municipal planning and zoning boards, municipal staff (e.g. attorneys, planners, engineers, highway superintendents and building code officers), homeowners and small businesses, schools and other educational venues, civic associations and non-profit groups, construction community, and entities with a greater than average potential to generate stormwater pollution such as oil change facilities and fueling stations.
The MS4 is also required to develop measurable goals that are used to help gauge permit compliance and the effectiveness of the education and outreach program. The measurable goals should reflect the needs and characteristics of the area being served by the MS4. Additionally, the education and outreach program should be kept current by conducting periodic reviews of the goals and activities to ensure that they remain appropriate and effective.
Activities and BMPs that have been accomplished to date for this Minimum Control Measure are included within the required MS4 Stormwater Annual Report form and Municipal Compliance Certification. Copies of these documents can be found at the following link (Annual Reports). Copies of various documents and specific products relating to this minimum control measure are included under “Related Documents”.
A summary of the effectiveness of this program, associated BMPs, activities and an assessment of measurable goals can be found under the heading “Program Reporting and Effectiveness”.
Other Related Links:
EPA Education and Outreach Fact Sheet
EPA Education and Outreach Homepage
EPA Stormwater Outreach Materials and Reference Documents
EPA Getting in Step: A Guide to Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns
EPA Non-Point Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox
Project WET (Worldwide Water Education)