The Baldwin County Stormwater Cooperative, a proposed regional stormwater management agency, is gaining legislative steam; local officials hope to introduce an enabling bill, allowing the formation of the cooperative, during this year’s …
The Baldwin County Stormwater Cooperative, a proposed regional stormwater management agency, is gaining legislative steam; local officials hope to introduce an enabling bill, allowing the formation of the cooperative, during this year’s session.
David W. Yeager, director of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, who has spearheaded this cooperative government approach to managing stormwater runoff, said that a draft bill is currently under review by State Rep. Steve McMillan, R-Gulf Shores.
He said the bill will act as enabling legislation, allowing the county and its participating municipalities to create a cooperative that oversees regional stormwater needs.
Stormwater runoff is the number of one cause of pollution in water bodies throughout the South, effecting drinking water, natural habitats, personal property, and roadway safety.
Rain collects into runoff - a flow of water - that finds its way into streams - picking up pollutants such as oil - or floods property, among other issues.
The cooperative would manage stormwater, lessening impact while seeking solutions for the county and municipal governments, according to local officials.
McMillan said that he will introduce the bill to the Baldwin County Legislative Delegation, which is composed of the county’s state representatives and senators, in order to “iron out” the draft bill and reach a consensus with the delegation on dynamics of the cooperative.
Yeager said that if the cooperative bill is passed by the House and the Senate, a constitutional amendment will be sent to the polls, allowing local residents the opportunity to vote for or against the enabling legislation.
12 of the county’s 13 municipalities have pledged support for the cooperative including the county commission.