New NPDES permit requirement provides an opportunity for GIS support

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Last October, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
(NPDES) branch of the US Environmental Protection Agency instituted a
new permit requirement to protect our waterways. This application
requires public entities to request permission to apply pesticides,
which could end up in the groundwater or nearby bodies of water. To be
in compliance, the Village of Lincolnshire Public Works department had
to submit for the first time an application prior to conducting its
annual treatment program.

One of the application requirements is to identify the geographic
locations that will be treated, as well as what pesticides will be
applied in each place. GIS was able to assist the parks superintendent
by generating a map of all of each treatment area, color coded by the
type of treatment planned. Without this site map, the applicant would
have to write out a lengthy description of each site that was detailed
enough for the NPDES reviewers to identify themselves. This would have
taken a significant amount of time to complete, whereas GIS was able to
create a professional-looking illustration in an efficient way.

For more information on the new application process, please visit the
information page on the NPDES website, found at
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=410.