The City of Edmond's Stormwater Quality Program uses a multi-pronged approach to reduce the amount of stormwater pollution flowing into our local waterways. What is stormwater? Stormwater is rain or melting snow that flows off of rooftops, paved areas, bare soil, and lawns. This runoff flows into larger bodies of water, such as puddles, ditches, streams, lakes, and rivers, until it eventually flows into the ocean.
History of Stormwater Regulation
Water pollution issues gained national attention in the 1950s and '60s due to events like Ohio's Cuyahoga River fires and publications like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962). These milestones helped jumpstart the environmental movement and spur the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (1970) and the Clean Water Act (1972).
The Clean Water Act (CWA) established a new permitting program, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which originally addressed water pollution by only regulating point sources that discharged pollutants to waters of the United States. In 1987, Congress amended the CWA to expand the scope of the NPDES program to include non-point discharges, such as stormwater, from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities. The 1987 Amendments also required that the EPA develop a two-phased NPDES program, Phase I and Phase II, which separate municipalities based on their population and urbanized areas.
In 1993, the state of Oklahoma formed the Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) but the agency did not receive authorization from the EPA to administer and enforce the NPDES program in Oklahoma until 1996. When the Phase II regulations were passed by the EPA in 1999, the City of Edmond applied to ODEQ for the OKR04 General Permit for Small MS4s to discharge stormwater to waters of the State.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
The EPA's NPDES program is focused on restoring America's streams and rivers. Under Phase II of the NPDES Program we, like thousands of communities across the nation, have been issued a permit that requires us to emphasize six major areas of activity known as Minimum Control Measures (MCMs):
- Public Education & Involvement
- Industrial Stormwater Runoff Control
- Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Management in New Development and Redevelopment
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for MS4 Operations