Interlocal Stormwater Working Group
ISWG (pronounced izzy-wig) is a coalition of 14 municipalities in the greater Portland and Saco areas (Biddeford, Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Freeport, Gorham, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Saco, Scarborough, South Portland, Westbrook, Windham, and Yarmouth) that work collaboratively to implement Clean Water Act permit(s). The permit aims to reduce the impact of stormwater pollution on local waterways. In Maine, the Department of Environmental Protection administers this permit on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The District coordinates ISWG and provides regional support and implementation of many of the permit’s six required minimum control measures (MCMs).
The six MCMs are as follows:
- Public Education: Educate the public and municipal staff and officials about polluted runoff and how to reduce pollution.
- Public Participation: Provide the public an opportunity to participate in the municipality’s stormwater program.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: Identify and eliminate illegal sewer connections, dumping into storm drains, and other sources of pollution. Carry out long-term maintenance and mapping of all stormwater infrastructure.
- Construction: Ensure that construction on both public and private property does not impact water resources.
- Post-Construction: Implement new development and redevelopment stormwater ordinances, and encourage developers to utilize techniques to reduce the impact of development on water resources.
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping: Prevent pollution from municipal operations and facilities. Educate municipal staff about practices to reduce polluted runoff.
Public Education & Participation
The District implements a number of education and outreach programs on behalf of ISWG. A summary of education efforts is below.
The District coordinates a statewide television and online “Think Blue Maine” ad campaign to raise awareness of polluted stormwater runoff that impacts local waterways. Information about water pollution and actions that can be taken to reduce pollution are available on the Think Blue Maine website.
YardScaping is a statewide effort to inspire Maine people to maintain their yards for the safety of kids, pets, and the environment by reducing the use of fertilizers and weed and bug killers. The District coordinates an extensive education program that includes offering workshops, participating in community events, and working with local retailers to identify preferred lawn care products. More information and educational resources can be found on our YardScaping page.
Municipal Permit Awareness
The District provides concerted outreach to educate elected officials and various municipal departments in ISWG municipalities about permit requirements.
Enhanced Outreach about Coal Tar-Based Pavement Sealers
The District is supporting ISWG and municipalities in southern York County in their efforts to educate state legislators about the impacts of coal tar-based pavement sealers. We have developed an informational fact sheet about these products and the impact to human health and water resources.
CONNECT Youth Education
ISWG provides funding to support the District’s CONNECT youth education program. Through CONNECT, we provide clean water education to K-12 students in the 14 ISWG municipalities. More information about our youth education program can be found on our CONNECT page.
The District coordinates ISWG’s annual event: the Urban Runoff 5K and Green Neighbor Family Fest. This annual race and festival was founded in 2012 to raise awareness of water pollution and raise money to support clean water education efforts. The race is held each spring in and corresponds with Earth Day and spring’s “first flush,” when rain and melted snow wash pollution into our local waterways. More information about the Urban Runoff 5K and Green Neighbor Family Fest can be found on the event website.
The biennial Maine Stormwater Conference brings together municipal, state, and federal employees; engineers; planners; academics; and other professionals to learn about and discuss stormwater management. The Conference is held in the fall of odd-years (e.g. 2013, 2015, etc.). More information is available on the Maine Stormwater Conference website.