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Stormwater Utility Districts: A Case Study from Western New York

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It is a requirement in New York State that municipalities meet the State's Phase II Stormwater regulations. These requirements, along with violating the conditions of the State SPDES permit, can be very expensive. Some fines can run up to 37,500 per day, per violation!

The Western New York Stormwater Coalition wanted to provide a long-term funding mechanism for municipalities to ensure they could economically meet the costs of these requirements without causing financial hardship. A Feasibility Study was done in Niagara and Erie counties to investigate the formation of a Stormwater Utility District (SUD). An added benefit of an SUD would be the ability to address regional flooding and water quality issues that cannot effectively be addressed within single municipal entities.

In this paper, we will explain the economic findings of this study, along with organizational structure and benefits of an SUD. Legal analysis of forming an SUD was also studied and the findings will be presented. Through this study, municipalities will be able to determine if organizing an SUD for their region can be an economic and sustainable venture to assist them in meeting regulations and addressing regional issues in a collaborative environment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-01-01

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