Merrillville Stormwater Utility Receives Statewide Awards

SW governor awardGovernor’s Award presentation: Councilman Richard Hardaway, Stormwater Utility Executive Director Matt Lake, and Lisa Perez from IDEM.

The Merrillville Stormwater Utility has received one of the highest honors, the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. This award recognizes Indiana’s leaders who have implemented outstanding environmental strategies into their operations and decision-making processes. The Governor's Awards recognize only exemplary efforts which demonstrate significant, measurable results and are innovative, comprehensive and thoroughly documented. The 54th Court Bioremediation and Roadway Runoff Control project was recognized in the “Greening the Government” category and was a joint effort of the Merrillville Stormwater Utility, the Arsh Group, Blade Cutters Landscaping and Robinson Engineering, as well as supported by the surrounding residents, the Town Council and the Merrillville Environmental Resource Committee. A special review committee which included representatives from industry, academia, environmental organizations and government selected the Merrillville Stormwater Utility for this honor.  The award was received during the Assn. of Indiana Solid Waste Management District’s annual conference in Bloomington on October 2nd, where the IDEM invited Merrillville Town Councilman Richard Hardaway and Executive Director Matt Lake to the awards ceremony to accept the award on behalf of the town. This is the first time that a stormwater utility has received a governor’s award.

Additionally, the Indiana Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management, Inc. (INAFSM) awarded the “Outstanding Stormwater Project” to the Merrillville Stormwater Utility at its 2014 Annual Conference in September at Brown County State Park in Nashville, Indiana, for the 54th Court Bioremediation and Roadway Runoff Control project.  This award recognizes the most outstanding stormwater project studied, designed or constructed by a firm for a local unit of government or a private entity in the State of Indiana. Stormwater Utility Executive Director Matt Lake attended the INAFSM conference and received the award on behalf of the utility and town.

The 54th Court project was also previously published in the Great Lakes Green Streets Guidebook as a sample of a roadway project that implements green infrastructure techniques to improve water quality and reduce stormwater runoff.   The project was funded in part through an Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Lake Michigan Coastal Program grant, in cooperation with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The rain garden is located in the cul de sac area near Maryland Street and Carolina Street and 54th Court.