Community Environmental Management

Community Environmental Management is a toolbox of educational assessment, technical assistance and planning tools designed to assist local communities. The program is designed to address environmental concerns including nonpoint source pollution, natural resource degradation and drinking water supply protection in local communities. CEM is carried out in a phased approach similar to its agricultural counterpart AEM (Agricultural Environmental Management). Phase 1 includes a survey of the community’s environmental concerns. Phase II includes the completion of Environmental Assessment Worksheets. Environmental Assessment worksheets include the following topics:

  • Farmland Protection
  • Stormwater Management
  • Stream Corridor Protection
  • Flood Mitigation
  • Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Management
  • Sustainable Development
  • Drinking Water Supply Protection

Phase III results in the development of a strategy to address issues of concern within a community while Phase IV results in a comprehensive plan to protect the natural resources in the community. Plans developed in Phases III and IV are implemented during Phase V.

Stormwater Management
Stormwater runoff is created when water from heavy rain storms or snow melt flows over the surface of the land rather than percolating into the soil. High volumes of stormwater runoff create flooding hazards and water quality impairments. The effects of stormwater runoff are most pronounced at two sources: construction sites, and storm sewer system outfalls. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new regulations designed to control runoff from these two sources.

Stormwater 101: The Oneida County SWCD works with 15 local municipalities to prevent pollution in their municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Polluted stormwater plagues local water resources such as the Sauquoit Creek, the Oriskany Creek and the Mohawk River. Stormwater 101 is a brief primer on the subject of stormwater pollution and what you can do to protect water quality. Click on this link to view Stormwater 101

Contaminated stormwater is the most common cause of the nonpoint source pollution that affects our streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands. We all share responsibility for protecting our water resources. Businesses share this responsibility too. Click on the links below for ideas on how local take-out restaurants, auto maintenance shops and other businesses can reduce their impacts on water quality.

  • Auto shops
  • Restaurants
  • Construction brochure
  • Car wash brochure

Construction Sites: Phase II Stormwater Regulations require construction site operators to develop Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans or Erosion and Sediment Control Plans for disturbances of greater than or equal to 1 acre. The NYSDEC’s General Permit for Construction Activities affects construction site operators throughout New York State. Further restrictions within MS4 areas may also be in effect. For more information, contact the Region 6 office of the DEC at 793-2554 or contact the Soil and Water Conservation District at 736-3334. Questions can be emailed to JoAnne Humphreys.

MS4s: Phase II Stormwater Regulations require Muncipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in small cities to develop Stormwater Management Plans. The SWMPs require completion of 6 minimum measures including:

  • public education
  • public participation
  • illicit connection detection and elimination
  • construction site runoff control
  • post construction controls
  • good housekeeping

The SWCD is committed to providing the following services to MS4s within the Utica Urbanized Area:

  • Presentations at public meetings
  • Training of municipal officials and contractors
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination
  • System mapping
  • Ordinance development and review
  • Erosion and Sediment Plan Review
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan Review
  • Construction Site review
  • Post Construction Site review
  • Continued participation in the Intermunicipal Stormwater meetings

The SWCD’s efforts are matched locally with those of the Herkimer Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program, the Region 6 staff of the New York State DEC and the 17 MS4s within the Utica Urbanized Area. For more information about the MS4 permit, please contact the SWCD at 736-3334. Stormwater information can also be found at

Flood Control

Streambank Stabilization

Subdivision Reviews
SWCD staff reviews the erosion and sediment control aspects of subdivision plans for municipalities. This program is likely to expand due to the new Phase II stormwater regulations.