Databases and Tools
When rain water runs
off the sides of buildings, and over parking lots and other
impervious urban areas, it picks up and transports pollutants. In
times of heavy rainfall, sanitary sewer systems may not have the
capacity to hold all the water entering the system, which results in
sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
These events often
result in the discharge of sewage and pollutants to nearby surface
waters. However, many local governments may lack the financial and
technical resources necessary to address these issues. The resulting
noncompliance with regulations designed to address wet weather
pollution can further increase the burden on these local governments.
Under the NPDES
stormwater program, operators of large, medium and
regulated small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) require
authorization to discharge pollutants. Medium and large MS4
operators are required to submit comprehensive permit applications
and are issued individual permits. Regulated small MS4 operators have
the option of choosing to be covered by an individual permit, a
general permit, or a modification of an existing Phase I MS4's
involved in construction projects will also need to comply with
stormwater construction rules. Stormwater runoff from construction
activities can have a significant impact on water quality by
contributing sediment and other pollutants to creeks, streams, lakes,
etc. Under the Federal Clean Water Act, The National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water
pollution by regulating sources of pollution that discharge into
waters of the United States. Federal regulations relating to the
Permit Program require operators of certain sized
construction projects to obtain authorization to discharge stormwater
under an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
construction stormwater permit. Under Phase II Stormwater
regulations, which became effective March 2003, required construction
activities that disturbed one or more acres of land to obtain NPDES
regulations are federal rules, they are implemented by state
environmental agencies (except for Massachusetts, New Mexico, Alaska,
Idaho and New Hampshire where EPA retains authority).
The following material
provides information on various technical and financial resources
available to local governments, as well as information on current wet
weather regulatory and legislative initiatives, workshops, web sites,
and publications which can assist local governments in reducing wet
Guidance Memorandum. Provides guidance to the regulated community and permitting authorities on the impact of the Supreme Court's decision of County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund on CWA Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. Outlines seven non-exclusive factors to evaluate whether a point source pollutant discharge that travels through groundwater can be treated as the equivalent of a direct discharge to Waters of the United States in the context of the existing NPDES framework.
NPDES Training Courses and Workshops. The NPDES Permitting program offers training courses, workshops, and webcasts to explain the regulatory framework and technical considerations of the NPDES Permit program.
Stormwater Discharges From Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). Under the NPDES stormwater program, operators of large, medium and regulated small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) require authorization to discharge pollutants under an NPDES permit.
Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities. The NPDES Stormwater program requires operators of construction sites one acre or larger (including smaller sites that are part of a larger common plan of development) to obtain authorization to discharge stormwater under an NPDES construction stormwater permit.
Stormwater Resource Locator. This resource is designed
to help with questions regarding stormwater permits and other
United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Dashboard. Interactive mapping tool that utilizes the USGS database of water data. Users can see the full range of water quality data and other information available on their local lakes, wells, and streams in real time.
Innovative Partnership to Assist Rural Communities to Improve the Health of Their Communities. The Appalachian Coal Country Team and Western Hardrock Watershed Team, or the OSM/VISTA Teams, assist rural communities impoverished by environmental degradation and its consequences to make their home-place watersheds healthier places to live and work.
Green Infrastructure Valuation Guide. A new report by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers quantifies the economic value of green infrastructure. This tool is meant to help municipalities adopt cost-effective stormwater management techniques.
Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA).
An organization of public agencies whose function is the protection
of lives, property and economic activity from the adverse impacts of
storm and flood waters.
Stormwater Management in the United States. On October
15, 2008, the National Research Council Water Sciences and Technology
Board released the report Urban Stormwater Management in the
United States (Committee on Reducing Stormwater Discharge
Contributions to Water Pollution, National Research Council, National
Academies Press). The report is the product of a 2-year process
undertaken by the 15-member committee. The 513 page report provides a
description of the history of stormwater management in the United
States; an overview of stormwater regulations and the federal
regulatory program; and information on a number of relevant
scientific and technological issues such as hydrology, geomorphology,
biology, monitoring and modeling. The report also provides a number
of significant findings and recommendations on how stormwater
management in the United States should be improved to achieve better
environmental outcomes. A Report
in Brief fact sheet is also available.
for Nine Minimum CSO Controls. This
publication provides information on nine minimum technology-based
controls that communities are expected to use to address CSO
problems, without extensive engineering studies or significant
construction costs, before long-term measures are taken.
for Long-Term CSO Control Plan. This
publication describes how local governments can develop comprehensive
long-term CSO control plans that recognize the site-specific nature
of CSOs and their impacts on receiving water bodies.
National Menu of Best Management Practices for NPDES Storm Water Phase II. This Environmental Protection Agency publication contains 112 fact sheets that describe BMPs that can be used to fulfill the 6 minimum measures described in the Storm Water Phase II Rule.
Water Phase II Compliance Assistance Guide. This Environmental Protection Agency Publication seeks to aid
regulated entities in complying with the Storm Water Phase II final
Water Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution. This Natural Resources Defense Council report documents some of
the most effective strategies being employed by local governments
around the country to control urban runoff pollution.
Benefits Of Runoff Controls. This
Environmental Protection Agency report discusses two types of
structural controls that have been documented as providing economic
benefits: urban runoff ponds and constructed wetlands.
Sewer Overflow (SSO) Fact Sheet. This
Environmental Protection Agency fact sheet explains what SSOs are,
why they occur, what health risks they pose, and how they can be
Making Water a Career of Choice: Water Workforce Case Studies. Includes nine case studies of communities in the U.S. and their unique initiatives to improve recruitment and retention of water and wastewater professionals. Strategies explained include increased outreach to youths and minority communities and development of leadership training programs.
Databases and Tools
Locator. Use this unique on-line tool to locate
instructions and specifications for construction stormwater best
management practices (BMPs) published by EPA and state agencies.
Urban BMP Performance Tool - This tool has been developed to provide stormwater professionals with easy access to approximately 220 studies assessing the performance of over 275 BMPs. It provides access to studies covering a variety of traditional and low impact BMP types, including retention and detention ponds, biofilters, grassed filter strips, porous pavement, wetlands, and others. Users will also find a series of essays aimed at improving understanding of BMP performance and the importance of volume reduction/infiltration in these assessments.
NPDES Compliance Monitoring Strategy - This strategy, which takes effect in 2009, outlines inspection and compliance goals for the entire NPDES program, including major and minor NPDES facilities, pretreatment programs, biosolids, CSOs, SSOs, stormwater, and CAFOs. It places increased emphasis on wet weather issues, particularly stormwater sources, and sets ambitious targets for audits and inspections of Phase I and II MS4s, construction sites, and industrial facilities.
Storm Water Best Management Practices Database. This searchable database provides access to BMP performance data
in a standardized format for over 113 BMP studies conducted over the
past fifteen years.
for Combined Sewer Overflow Funding Options. This document describes the options that may be available to fund
the capital, debt service, and operational costs of CSO controls.