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The Cole County Department of Public Works has completed a draft of a new stormwater management plan, which is now available for public comment.

County officials said the purpose of the plan is to provide direction for the management of stormwater runoff and erosion control in the unincorporated parts of the county.

The plan includes ways to increase awareness of stormwater pollution and how residents can minimize the impact to local waterways. This would be done through public meetings as well as using the county's website to post information for residents to review.

The plan also calls for the county to use its GIS system to track past illicit discharges of stormwater, which will be used to identify areas that have a higher likelihood of having illicit discharges.

Eventually, the county plans to develop, implement and enforce a program to address the quality of long-term stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment that discharge stormwater.

The Public Works Department has developed a draft ordinance addressing post-construction site runoff, which would go to the County Commission for its approval.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources requires cities and counties with urbanized areas to follow guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency through the Clean Water Act. The new plan only affects urbanized areas as defined by the most recent U.S. census data, and this consists of primarily the residential areas around the city limits of Jefferson City.

Public comments on the plan will be considered for inclusion after review.

The new plan can be found at colecounty.org/505/Stormwater.

A hard copy can be obtained by calling the Department of Public Works at 573-636-3614.

Comments can be submitted online or written and submitted by mail or in person until July 1.

Once all comments are received, the final draft will be updated and submitted to DNR for approval.

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