LAND USE AND CONSTRUCTION SUPPORT
The Will-South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District operates several programs that address the effects of development upon the area’s natural resources.
Natural Resource Inventory Report
The purpose of the NRI report is to provide officials of the local governing body and other decision-makers with natural resource information.
This information may be useful when undertaking land use decisions concerning variations, amendments or relief of local zoning ordinances, proposed subdivision of vacant or agricultural lands and the subsequent development of these lands. This report is a requirement under Section 22.02a of the Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District’s Act.
NRI reports contain a description of the present site conditions, the present resources, and the potential impacts that the proposed change may have on the site and its resources. The natural resource information is gathered from standardized data, on-site investigations and information furnished by the petitioner.
This report, when used properly, will provide the basis for proper land use change decisions and development while protecting the natural resource base of the county. It should not be used in place of detailed environmental and/or engineering studies that are warranted under most circumstances, but in conjunction with those studies.
NRI’s can be ordered by completing an application and submitting it to the SWCD in the corresponding county.
IEPA NPDES Phase II Inspection Program
In 1977 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognizing the degraded quality of U.S. waterways due to pollution, passed the Clean Water Act. The Act regulates the emission of pollutants from specific locations, or point sources, (i.e. industrial pipes) into waters of the U.S.
While the quality of our nation’s waters began to improve drastically with the regulation of point source pollutants, polluted water bodies still existed. Many pollutants enter our waterways indirectly as run-off from impervious surfaces. When these nonpoint pollutants flow through our stormwater systems and out into our rivers and lakes they degrade the quality of our waterways.
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES Phase I) was formulated in 1990 under the Clean Water Act to address the issue of polluted runoff, or nonpoint source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution is defined as pollution that comes from many different sources over a large area, and it is generated when rain or snow melt collects impurities as it travels to a body of water.
NPDES Phase I was designed to regulate stormwater runoff discharges on construction sites that disturb five (5) or more acres. In 1999 The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) expanded the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Program by designating additional sources of storm water for regulation to protect water quality. This new, expanded program is NPDES Phase II.
The new Phase II regulations strengthen the ability of government to regulate sources of nonpoint source pollution, the leading cause of water quality degradation in the United States. In 2008 the Will-South Cook SWCD entered into an agreement with the Illinois EPA establishing an inspection program for construction sites. Sites are monitored for the implementation of soil erosion and sediment control Best Management Practices (BMP’s) and sites that are found out of compliance are reported to the IEPA.
Protecting water resources is not only the responsibility of government, industry and development. To find out what you can do review the Clean Water is Everybody’s Business Tip Sheet.
Will County Conservation Subdivision Design Plan Review & Inspection Program
Will County Conservation Subdivision Design Plan can be found at the following link:
Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Program
The SWCD provides SESC Plan Review and Inspection services to municipalities and the development industry as requested and when workload allows. These reports may be used for compliance with the permitting of other government agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Soil Fertility Testing Program
The Will South Cook SWCD will be offering a low-cost soil testing program to help residents make informed decisions about the management of soil nutrients.
Soil tests provide information on fertilizer needs which help you save money and time as well as protect the environment from contaminated runoff from over-fertilization.
Soil tests should be taken in the spring or fall for established sites and at any time of year for new seeding and plantings. Taking a soil test every two to three years is usually adequate to monitor nutrient levels; however you may need to test more frequently if management practices change.
Staff at the Conservation District will help you interpret the results of your test, which will include specific fertilizer recommendations for your crop.
For questions or more information, call the SWCD office at (815) 462-3106 ext.3.