Stormwater runoff is the water from rain and snow melt that flows across land and does not soak into the ground. As runoff flows over impervious surfaces (streets, parking lots and rooftops), it accumulates sediments, debris, oil, pet waste, fertilizers or other pollutants and is carried into nearby rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands. The runoff can significantly degrade water quality and aquatic habitat. Stormwater runoff also may increase flooding and erosion.
The Clean Water Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and States, which are delegated the authority by EPA, to regulate point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States through the NPDES permit program. The program is intended to improve water quality by reducing the discharge of pollutants from stormwater runoff into local storm drains, rivers, ponds, streams and other receiving waterbodies.
Minimum Control Measures
In addition to other requirements, in order to comply with the program the City must follow six Minimum Control Measures, which are implemented through a series of Best Management Practices (BMPs).