The industrial boom in the United States during the 1950’s and 60’s brought with it a level of pollution never before seen in this country. Scenes of dying fish, burning rivers, and thick black smog engulfing major metropolitan areas were images and stories repeated regularly on the evening news. In December of 1970, President Richard Nixon created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through an executive order in response to these critical environmental problems.
In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation’s waters. Although prior legislation had been enacted to address water pollution, those previous efforts were developed with other goals in mind. For example, the 1899 Rivers and Harbors Act protected navigational interests while the 1948 Water Pollution Control Act and the 1956 Federal Water Pollution Control Act merely provided limited funding for state and local governments to address water pollution concerns on their own.
The CWA required the elimination of the discharge of pollutants into the nation’s waters and the achievement of fishable and swimmable water quality levels. EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permitting Program represents one of the key components established to accomplish this feat. The NPDES program requires that all point source discharges to waters of the U.S. (i.e., “direct discharges”) must be permitted.
An important aspect of Stormwater Compliance is to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). One must implement the Best Management Practices (BMP’s). Additionally, as certain activities are required in order to remain in compliance with the terms of a permit, specifications for each activity should be found in the SWPPP.
After completing this module, you will:
- Understand what Stormwater Compliance is
- Be able to determine the required permits pertaining to Stormwater management for a specific industry
- Be introduced to Stormwater Permits and Pollution Prevention Plans
- Understand implementation of the permitting and monitoring process