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The City of Battle Creek, Michigan has the third largest land area of all cities in Michigan. A new comprehensive land use plan was recently adopted to guide development of the undeveloped land area in the City, which represents about 40% of the City. Surface water bodies, including several local lakes, 2 significant rivers, and numerous wetland systems are important natural features providing surface water, recreational, and aesthetic resources for the area. Because the City is on the list to require a permit for the Phase II Municipal Storm Water Discharge NPDES regulations, the Voluntary General Permit adopted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) was chosen to proactively address these regulations and begin watershed planning initiatives with neighboring communities. The City is located in the Kalamazoo River Watershed which is also being evaluated by the MDEQ to establish a phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) that may have an impact on the City.

The primary objective for this project was to facilitate the preparation of a watershed management plan to address storm water management needs of the region as the City implements its recently adopted comprehensive land use plan. In addition, results of this project will allow the City to gain a Certificate of Coverage (COC) under Michigan's Voluntary General Permit for Municipal Storm Water Discharges, which has been accepted by the EPA as fulfilling the requirements of the Phase II Storm Water Regulations.

As a result of performing this project, the City of Battle Creek, Michigan has learned the value of gaining stakeholder input during the watershed planning process, and as a result will form a Steering Committee to guide the implementation of the proposed Watershed Management Plan. The City also learned the value of working with the public school system to evaluate educational and monitoring opportunities. As a result of this project, several students will collect water quality data as part of an independent study program.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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