Tightened control over the quality of runoff into Casper's  sewer system is at the heart of a proposed city ordinance.

Casper City Council approved first reading of an addition to the municipal code addressing urban runoff at Tuesday evening's meeting.

Contaminated runoff is recognized as a leading contributor to the pollution of bodies of water like the Platte River that runs through our town.

"It basically deals with non-storm point sources of pollution.  So it could be as simple as somebody changing the oil in a  car over a catch basin and allowing the oil to drain into the storm sewer and any other kind of hazardous waste that anyone would put into the storm sewer system."  Gary Clough, Public Services Director for the City of Casper,  says the EPA  requires  the  implementation of the controls contained in the ordinance.  In 2003 the EPA lowered the population threshold of cities required to be in compliance to include those the size of Casper and Cheyenne.

Clough says monitoring is not really new,  but the ordinance clarifies the process and the fines related to it.  He says the city already does some monitoring.   "A lot of the time we rely on people calling us, either residents or businesses calling saying,  "Hey,  this person just dumped this into a catch basin".  Most of our residents are pretty proactive when they see something that doesn't look right by letting us know."