Local stormwater regulations recently became necessary because of new regulatory programs at the federal and state levels. Our local program must comply with these regulations or face significant civil penalties. The applicable regulations that serve as a basis for our storm water program are:
United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)
Storm Water Regulations
Since the passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the quality of our Nation’s waters has improved dramatically from reduction of point source pollution (i.e. controls at wastewater treatment plants, factories, etc.). Despite this progress, however, degraded water bodies still exist. Phase I of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) storm water program was promulgated in 1990 under the CWA. Phase I relies on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage to address storm water runoff from:
(1)“Medium” and “large” municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) generally serving populations of 100,000 or greater
(2) Construction activity disturbing 5 acres of land or greater
(3) Ten categories of industrial activity
The Storm Water Phase II Final Rule is the next step in EPA’s effort to preserve, protect, and improve the Nation’s water resources from polluted storm water runoff. The Phase II program expands the Phase I program by requiring smaller municipalities and small construction sites (>1 acre) to be permitted activities. The stormwater pollution is controlled by the Phase II program through the use of NPDES permits. These NPDES permits require MS4 operators to implement programs and practices to control polluted storm water runoff.
For more information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA.) Phase II Storm Water Regulations, click here to view links to a series of fact sheets.
To find specific information about the Storm Water Phase II Rule’s six minimum control measures, click here.
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP)
In West Virginia, the MS4 NPDES program is administered by the WV DEP. Thus, the Beckley MS4 is permitted by the WV DEP and the agency reviews and approves our stormwater pollution management plan. As a permittee, we are required to annually report status of our program to the WV DEP and our program is subject to audits by both state and federal officials. For information on the WV DEP stormwater program, click here
Since 2007, The BSB complies with Clean Water Act regulations by implementing six programs known as Minimum Control Measures:
- Public Education – BSB educates the community about how storm water pollution affects the water we use daily, the environment and our health.
- Community Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Program – BSB must detect and correct illicit discharges, which include any substance entering the storm water system that is not composed entirely of storm water.
- Regulation of Construction Sites – BSB works closely with contractors and builders to prevent dirt, sediment and pollutants from entering our streams through controlling runoff from construction sites.
- Regulation of Developed Sites – BSB works closely with the development community to implement storm water controls that manage runoff from developed sites.
- Pollution Prevention – BSB and the cities in our service area help to reduce water pollution through control measures like street sweeping, minimizing the potential for pollutants associated with municipal (city, county and BSB) operations to be carried into local streams.
Engaging the Community
It’s important for every member of the Beckley and surrounding communities to work together to control storm water runoff and prevent the challenges it causes, like water pollution, flooding and erosion. The BSB provides many opportunities for Beckley residents to take an active role in storm water management. Some of these opportunities include:
- BSB’s Storm Drain Marking Program – Volunteer groups help educate the public that storm drains lead to the nearest body of water by marking the drains with a “No Dumping, Drains to Waterways” label.
- BSB’s Storm Water Hotline – By calling this hotline at 304-894-8943, the public can report illegal dumping, flooding or erosion and find out more information on BSB’s many storm water programs.
- Practicing Healthy Household Habits – Homeowners can reduce storm water pollution by taking simple, everyday measures, such as sweeping up yard debris, picking up after pets and properly maintaining vehicles to prevent leaks, among many others.