The Basics Of Stormwater Management 

Regulations: Stormwater Management Regulations are a key component of EPA’s Clean Water Act.

 

Overriding Goal: Protect the quality of U.S. waterways by reducing the discharge of sediment, oil and chemicals into storm drains, surface water and groundwater.

Who is regulated? Three (3) main categories are now required to comply with these regulations:

  1.  Industrial - a total of 450 Standard Industrial Classification Codes (SIC)

  2. Municipalities

  3. Construction Activities

Did you know?

  1. Approximately 70% of all storm drains lead directly to open waterways, without treatment.
  2. 46% of all impaired rivers and lakes in the U.S. are polluted due to uncontrolled stormwater runoff.
  3. A one quart oil spill causes a two acre oil slick.
  4. In San Francisco, you can be fined $25,000 for dumping oil into a storm drain.
  5. In 2001, a major retail chain was fined $1 million by the EPA for stormwater violations.

Key Stormwater Acronyms and phrases:

  1. SWPPP - A “Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan” is an erosion, sediment and waste chemical control plan. All regulated entities must file a SWPPP with the EPA to be granted a stormwater permit.
  2. BMP - “Best Management Practices” include operating procedures and products to control site runoff, spills, leaks and drainage from raw material storage. When filing a SWPPP, a detailed description of BMPs planned for use at the site is required.
  3. MEP - “Maximum Extent Practicable” - Stormwater permits require that the discharge of pollutants into storm drains be reduced to the “maximum extent practicable”.
  4. NPDES - “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System” - This is the technical name for EPA’s stormwater management regulations. Regulated entities must comply with NPDES, 40 CFR 122.26 (1999).
  5. Non-Point Source Pollution - This term is synonymous with “stormwater runoff”. Unlike stormwater pollution, “point source pollution” can be easily attributed to a single source, such as a catastrophic leak from a storage tank. “Non-point source pollution” (stormwater runoff) has many contributors, e.g., oil leaks from vehicles in parking lots, sediment from multiple sources, a chemical or oil sheen from drums, tanks, equipment or raw materials stored outdoors.