Phase II to Require ‘Minimum Measure’

The Phase II Stormwater proposed rule will require owners/operators of small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) to develop a stormwater management program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff to receiving waters. The program will include the following six “minimum measures”:

The Phase II Stormwater proposed rule will require owners/operators of small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) to develop a stormwater management program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff to receiving waters. The program will include the following six “minimum measures”:

Stormwater Impact Education, Outreach

This measure requires the creation of a public education program to inform citizens about the impacts that stormwater runoff and discharges can have on water quality. It includes the distribution of educational materials to the community describing these impacts and steps that can be taken to reduce stormwater pollution. Such steps may include proper septic system maintenance, limitation of use and runoff of garden chemicals, proper disposal of used motor oil or household hazardous wastes, and involvement in local stream restoration activities.

Public Participation

This measure requires compliance with state and local public notice requirements. Municipalities are encouraged to have public involvement in the development and review of their stormwater program. Some opportunities for members of the public to participate in may include serving as citizen representatives on a local stormwater management panel, attending public hearings, working as citizen volunteers to educate others about the program, assisting in program coordination with other pre-existing programs, or participating in volunteer monitoring efforts.

Illicit Discharge Elimination

This measure requires the creation of an illicit discharge detection and elimination program. Specific requirements include: demonstrating knowledge of the storm sewer system using maps or other documents to identify major pipes, outfalls, and topography; developing a plan to address illicit discharges to the storm sewer system including appropriate enforcement procedures to the extent allowable by law; and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste. For example, recycling programs and other public outreach may be developed to address sources of illicit discharges, including used motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Construction Runoff Control

This measure requires the enforcement of a program to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff from construction activities resulting in the disturbance of one or more acres of land. The program applies to the individuals responsible for activities at construction sites and should include an ordinance to control sediment and erosion, a mechanism to ensure control of other wastes at construction sites, such as discarded building materials, concrete truck washout, and sanitary waste that could impact water quality; requirements for the implementation of appropriate BMPs, such as silt fences, temporary detention ponds and hay bails; provisions for pre-construction review of site management plans; procedures for receipt and consideration of information provided by the public; regular inspections during construction; and penalties to ensure compliance.

Post-Construction Management in Development, Redevelopment

This measure requires enforcement of a program to address stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment projects using appropriate structural and non-structural BMPs. Non-structural BMPs are preventive actions using management and source controls (policies and ordinances that result in protection of natural resources and prevention of runoff.) These may require limiting growth to identified areas, protecting sensitive areas, such as wetlands and riparian areas, minimizing impervious area, maintaining open space, and minimizing disturbance of soils and vegetation. Structural BMPs include storage practices (wet ponds and extended-outlet structures), filtration practices (grassed swales, sand filters and filter strips), and infiltration practices (infiltration basins, infiltration trenches, and porous pavement). A successful plan also needs the assurance of long-term operation and maintenance of the selected BMPs.

Pollution Prevention, Good Housekeeping

This requires the creation of an operation and maintenance/training program to prevent or reduce pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include training for municipal staff to address prevention measures in government operations, such as park and open space maintenance, fleet maintenance, planning, building oversight and stormwater system maintenance. Other potential pollution prevention activities may include: controls for reducing or eliminating the discharge of pollutants from streets, roads, highways, municipal parking lots, maintenance and storage yards, and waste transfer stations; programs to promote recycling and pesticide use information; procedures for proper disposal of waste removed from municipal systems and public areas (such as streets) including dredge spoil, accumulated sediments, floatables, and other debris; and new flood management projects to assess the impacts on water quality and examine existing projects to determine if they need additional water quality protection devices or practices.

More in Stormwater Management