In the early 2000s, stormwater coordinators from communities across Kentucky were looking to get prepared for new regulations. The Kentucky MS4 workgroup started in 2004 as the brain child of Mr. Jeff Lashlee from the City of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The City of Bowling Green, like many other mid-size communities, had recently been named in the Phase II MS4 regulations. Mr. Lashlee and his counterparts were looking to share ideas and better understand how to address the new stormwater quality regulations. What started as a loose invitation to friends grew to be known as the Kentucky MS4 Workgroup and was modeled after a similar organization in Tennessee.
The first meeting of the MS4 Workgroup was held in Elizabethtown, Kentucky with participation by a few communities primarily from the western and central regions of Kentucky. Under Mr. Lashlee’s leadership, the group routinely met two or three times a year to discuss key issues with the state regulators and the state transportation department. The workgroup’s goals continued to evolve and the participation in their meetings grew. Kentucky has over 40 Phase II MS4 permit holders representing over 100 communities and two Phase I MS4 permit holders. While the Workgroup did not have an official membership or organization, it was common for meetings to have 50 to 75 participants.
On November 10, 2009, over sixty people took part in evolving the Workgroup. Participants voted to create the Kentucky Stormwater Association (KSA), a nonprofit corporation, and adopt a Constitution and Bylaws. The driving force to officially organize was the need for cohesively directed training and coordinated communication with the state regulators. Kentucky is 500 miles across and travel can be a significant issue, so KSA members chose to divide the state into four regions with each having one representative. The four Representatives, plus an At Large Representative, make up the Board of Directors.
KSA hosts an annual conference choosing a location in one of it's MS4 communities. The conference is well attended by KSA members as well as local, state and regional regulatory staff. KSA's annual conference provides a venue for MS4 communities to discuss stormwater issues, program implementation, strategies and lessons learned.
KSA provides its membership and stakeholders with training covering a variety of stormwater quality topics. This is delivered through four meetings annually. Three quarterly meetings are held that typically provide one day of MS4 training. The fourth meeting is an annual conference with greater opportunity for participants to learn about industry trends, explore new technologies, share experiences with other communities from across the state and communicate with state and federal regulators.
KSA routinely coordinates with the Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) regarding current and pending regulations. The membership benefit from a message strongly and consistently delivered by KSA as opposed to many communities. Furthermore, KSA is aggressively coordinating with KDOW to secure funding to support its education and outreach mission.
The KSA Board and committees have been very busy representing its membership and building a vibrant and growing organization. It has been corresponding with KDOW and EPA on a variety of topics including the new national stormwater rule, new stormwater Phase II rules and program expectations and grants for training programs.
The following are the defining documents of KSA: