Storm Water Drain Medallions Inform, Raise Awareness About Preventing Pollution in Storm Runoff

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Medallions raise awareness of the importance of pollution prevention.

Polluted storm water runoff is often captured by municipal storm sewer systems and discharged into local rivers and streams without treatment. This pollution can impair waterways – disrupting recreational use of the resource, contaminating drinking water supplies and interfering with habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms and wildlife.

Common pollutants found in storm water runoff include oil and grease from roadways; herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers from lawns and farming activities; sediment from construction sites, and carelessly discarded trash such as cigarette butts, paper wrappers and plastic bottles.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established rules under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, intended to improve the nation’s waterways by reducing the quantity of pollutants that storm water picks up and carries into storm sewer systems during and after rainfall and snow melt.

Per Virginia regulation, Jefferson Lab’s network of storm water drains, ditches and ponds are designated as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (or MS4) by a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Permit that is re-issued every five years. Click here to see JLab’s MS4 map.

As part of this MS4 Permit, Jefferson Lab is required to provide annual reporting and planning to DEQ describing pollution prevention measures and best management practices that are enacted at the lab for water quality protection of downstream waterways. One of the objectives of the MS4 Permit is to conduct “public outreach” with laboratory staff members regarding the importance of pollution prevention of storm water.

To raise awareness of storm water drains and the importance of property pollution prevention within the lab community, Environment, Safety, Health and Quality and Facilities Management and Logistics staff installed in 2016 a number of storm drain medallions. These medallions inform staff that the drains are regulated for storm water by the lab’s DEQ permit, and that any spills should be reported to ESH&Q.

If you have any questions or to report a spill or possible source of water pollution, contact Scott Conley at ext. 7308 or email econley@jlab.org.