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Stormwater Management
SEMCOG is dedicated to preserving and restoring water quality in Southeast Michigan. To that end, SEMCOG offers members a variety of stormwater management services related to low impact development techniques, Phase II permit requirements, and reviewing larger stormwater management plans.

Stormwater-Related Member Services
For more information on these services, please contact Amy Mangus at 313-324-3350 or

Municipal Training
SEMCOG developed a Municipal Training Program to assist local communities with the good housekeeping requirements of the Phase II Stormwater Permit and to protect our area waterways. This program consists of workshops, fact sheets, posters, and online modules. If you would like more direct training assistance, please contact SEMCOG to discuss your specific needs.

Phase II Permit Stormwater Assistance
Fleet Maintenance/Storage Yards: Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan Development
Need a stormwater pollution prevention plan for your facility? SEMCOG will visit your facilities and develop the stormwater pollution prevention plan required under the good housekeeping requirements of the permit. This plan is required for each fleet/storage/DPW area in the permitted area.

Audit Assistance, Individual Meetings, TMDL, and SWPPI Review
SEMCOG is available to assist members individually regarding the Phase II permit. This could include:

  • Being present during an MDNRE audit
  • Providing a walk-through of your facilities prior to an MDNRE audit\
  • Reviewing permit-related materials prior to submittal to the MDNRE
  • Identifying and prioritizing actions to meet the TMDL requirements in the permit
  • Meeting to explain permit requirements and determine how SEMCOG can best assist you

Ours to Protect Web Site
The Ours to Protect Web site is used by our members to assist in educating the public on the public education component of the permit. SEMCOG will update the Web site as appropriate. 

Stormwater Ordinance Assistance
SEMCOG can review stormwater ordinances developed as part of the permit.

Analysis to Assist in Roads Suspended Solids Requirement
SEMCOG will review the possibility of providing the analysis to meet the total suspended solids requirement under the Phase II permit.

Record Keeping        
SEMCOG will provide an annual summary of the activities undertaken to assist in meeting the Phase II permit requirement which will be used by communities in developing their required progress reports.

Other Stormwater Services

Stormwater Green Infrastructure Review, Analysis, and Assistance
Are you interested in implementing green infrastructure on municipally-owned properties? Are you interested in updating local plans and ordinances to encourage/require various levels of green infrastructure in new or redevelopments? SEMCOG can provide the following services related to these topics:

  • Review plans and ordinances and provide comments/suggestions on updates to reflect water resource protection goals. 
  • Inspect municipally-owned properties for implementation of green infrastructure opportunities.
  • Review and provide suggestions on proposed designs for green infrastructure BMPs.
  • Participate in local committees involved with stormwater management activities.
  • Provide various levels of LID and green infrastructure PowerPoint presentations to city councils, township boards, and planning commissions.
  • Perform road corridor assessments along a specific road segment that incorporates green infrastructure with transportation projects (see Washtenaw Avenue Corridor Plan example).

Pollution Incident Prevention Plan Development
Do you store more than 5 tons of salt or large quantities of oil at any of your facilities? If so, you may be required to have a Pollution Incident Prevention Plan (PIPP) by the MDNRE. SEMCOG can perform a site visit to your facility to help determine if you need a PIPP and if so, develop it for you. 

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Review
Interested in earning more points toward your application for Michigan Natural Resources Fund dollars? Consider including stormwater management as a component. SEMCOG can review the stormwater component of your application. 

Low Impact Development
Low Impact Development is a comprehensive land planning and site design approach that focuses on preserving natural features, minimizing disturbance, and managing rainfall as close to the source as possible. It helps local government efficiency by reducing the cost of infrastructure. 

Green Streets
SEMCOG received a grant in the amount of $500,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  Four county members, including Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne, each received $100,000 of this funding to design and constructed a project demonstrating use of green infrastructure to reduce roadway runoff. 

Additionally, SEMCOG developed the Great Lakes Green Streets Guidebook which contains a sampling of road improvement projects within the Great Lakes Watershed that have successfully incorporated green infrastructure techniques to manage stormwater runoff and benefit water resources. 

Roads present a larger challenge than site development projects to incorporating green infrastructure techniques due to their inherent constrained spaces, multiple transportation requirements and overlapping jurisdictions.  Thus, the outcome of this Guidebook is the presentation of case studies showcasing varying approaches to integrating green infrastructure into road projects.

Western Lake Erie Integrated Ecological Framework
MDOT, SEMCOG, and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory is working on a two year planning project to integrate environmental and transportation planning in Monroe County as a mechanism to protect valuable habitat in the area and protect Western Lake Erie.

Phase II Regulations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has issued the Phase II Storm Water Rule, which requires municipalities and other public bodies that operate a separate stormwater drainage system within a U.S. Census-defined Urbanized Boundary to obtain a stormwater permit. This permit program, updated in 2008, affects over 120 communities in Southeast Michigan and is administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (MDNRE). SEMCOG engages watershed planning groups, MDNRE, and numerous communities in coordinating efforts and creating tools to assist municipalities in meeting Phase II requirements.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)
When a lake or stream does not meet Water Quality Standards (WQS), a study must be completed to determine the amount of a pollutant that can be put in a water body from point sources and nonpoint sources and still meet WQS (including a margin of safety). Determining the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the process used to determine how much pollutant load a lake or stream can assimilate.
To view TMDLs that have been developed and approved for individual waterbodies in the State of Michigan, please visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment's Web site.   

Ours to Protect Campaign
SEMCOG's "Our Water. Our Future. Ours to Protect. - Seven Simple Steps to Clean Water" public education campaign is aimed at daily actions individuals can take to help protect rivers, lakes, and streams. Printed materials such as tip cards, posters, and newsletter articles have been created for each of the Seven Simple Steps to Clean Water. Additional information about the campaign, including digital copies of the print materials and videos can be found at the "Our Water. Our Future. Ours to Protect." Web site.

Watershed Signage
WatershedSignThis successful, collaborative sign program in Southeast Michigan installs signs across the region at river crossings and watershed entrances. The signs have a consistent look and all contain the message, “Ours to Protect,” the main message of the “Our Water. Our Future. Ours to Protect—Seven Simple Steps to Clean Water” public education campaign. Five counties participate in this successful signage program. Additionally, many communities that are required to meet the federal Phase II Stormwater Regulations have included watershed signage as one effort to meet their public education requirements. There are currently 979 watershed signs in Southeast Michigan located in the following counties and communities:  

  • Livingston County - 60 signs
  • Macomb County - 20 signs  
  • Oakland County - 406 signs  
  • St. Clair County - 32 signs  
  • City of Southfield - 41 signs  
  • City of Troy - 50 signs  
  • Rouge River Watershed (Oakland and Wayne Counties) - 370 signs