Why Is Public Participation and Involvement Necessary?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes that the public can provide valuable input and assistance to a regulated small MS4's municipal stormwater management program and, therefore, suggests that the public be given opportunities to play an active role in both the development and implementation of the program. An active and involved community is crucial to the success of a stormwater management program because it allows for:
- Broader public support since citizens who participate in the development and decision making process are partially responsible for the program and, therefore, may be less likely to raise legal challenges to the program and more likely to take an active role in its implementation;
- Shorter implementation schedules due to fewer obstacles in the form of public and legal challenges and increased sources in the form of citizen volunteers;
- A broader base of expertise and economic benefits since the community can be a valuable, and free, intellectual resource; and
- A conduit to other programs as citizens involved in the stormwater program development process provide important cross-connections and relationships with other community and government programs. This benefit is particularly valuable when trying to implement a stormwater program on a watershed basis, as encouraged by EPA
Silver Spring Township seeks to get the public involved in its Stormwater Management/MS4 Program through river and stream clean-ups, which we consider to be a great way to achieve several of our water quality goals, as they serve to educate and engage the public, while removing trash from local waterways.
Opportunities for participation are available through the Conodoguinet Creek Watershed Association, "Creek Cleanups" are held every 3rd Saturday from May through September.