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Water Education for Communities & Local Officials

NC-CES

 Measure 2:  Public Involvement and Participation

Public Involvement and Participation is a dialogue between a local government and its community.  If the public is involved in making decisions about their community’s stormwater management program, they are more likely to accept and participate in stormwater management activities.

Your Public Involvement and Participation Program will be most successful if you follow a well thought out plan. The steps we recommend you follow are:

  1. Identify the interested and affected public.
  2. Identify and select stormwater issues.
  3. Determine strategies for addressing stormwater issues.
  4. Implement these strategies.
  5. Involve the public in tracking the impacts of the stormwater program.
  6. Review results and repeat cycle as necessary.

More detailed information on how to administer your program can be found on this website under The Public Involvement Cycle.

For addressing potentially contentious issues such as whether or how to develop a stormwater fee, we recommend you implement extensive public involvement as early as possible. Your public involvement process should strive to reach out and engage all economic and ethnic groups. Everyone who is affected by changes such as new ordinances should have the opportunity to provide input. Become familiar with The Seven Principles of Public Involvement before starting any public involvement program. All public involvement processes should adhere to these important guiding principles.

Be careful about mistaking public education for public involvement! Providing information to the public through public education may increase knowledge about stormwater issues, but incorporating citizens’ values through two-way communication will more likely result in their support of a stormwater program.

Public involvement does contain an element of education - the community is provided with the appropriate information to help them participate in a meaningful way. Members of your community can be involved in determining the most effective messages and audiences for public educational efforts. 

In the Phase II stormwater general permit, you will find the following table under Public Involvement and Participation. Your individual permit may vary slightly. The NC Division of Water Quality requires that you meet the three BMPs listed. Click on the links to find specific guidance for the BMPs.

BMP
Measurable Goals
a) Hold a public meeting

Conduct at least one public meeting to allow the public an opportunity to review and comment on the Stormwater Plan.

b) Organize a volunteer community involvement program

Organize and implement a volunteer stormwater related program designed to promote ongoing citizen participation.

c) Establish a citizens' group

Develop a citizens' group for input on stormwater issues and the stormwater program.

Note:  You may view your local government’s Phase II stormwater permit at the NC Division of Water Quality’s web site.