The seven member programs of BASMAA have all agreed to the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that sets policy on member's roles and responsibilities, and describes the purpose and basic operations (e.g., voting, dues) of the organization. Each year BASMAA collects dues from its members for a "baseline" program. The baseline program provides for staff (Executive Director) and finances baseline projects (i.e., projects endorsed by all member storm water programs).
In addition, the BASMAA MOU provides a means for two or more of the member programs, or other organizations, to agree to contribute additional funds to do "tasks of regional benefit." This option allows regional or subregional projects to go forward absent a unanimous endorsement by the seven member programs.
Typically, the BASMAA Board and four committees meet monthly on a regular schedule to share information, discuss issues, and manage projects and programs. BASMAA does some projects and programs in-house using BASMAA staff and volunteer time from staff of the member storm water programs. In other cases, BASMAA hires consultants to carry out new projects and programs.
Along with its member programs, BASMAA has been grappling with how to implement the storm water regulations, which cut across typical departmental boundaries, programs, and lines of communication. To do so, these programs have used essentially a watershed approach involving as many stakeholders as possible and building consensus. Now BASMAA and some of its more mature NPDES permitted programs are expanding the envelope to deal with agencies, issues, and programs that are one step removed from those that they initially focused on. This model alliance that initially focused on urban storm water is now:
- working with the regional air quality district in linking air quality to water quality.
- working to strengthen the integration of storm water and wastewater.
- working with trade associations to develop practical industrial/commercial water quality programs.
- working with rural-focused agencies and programs in the upper watersheds.