VI. Phase II Stormwater Regulations

The 1972 Clean Water Act, enacted by Congress, established a policy to protect and improve the waters of the United States. In 1987, Congress amended the Clean Water Act to require implementation of a program to address storm water discharges. Rules were promulgated by EPA to establish a phased approach to implementation of the program which went into effect in 1992. Phase I required NPDES permits for a number of categories of storm water discharges including industrial activities, construction-related disturbances greater than 5 acres, and large and medium size municipal separate storm sewer (MS4) operators.

Phase II of the program requires NPDES permits for construction disturbances of one acre or greater and small MS4 operators located in an Urbanized Area. Urbanized Areas are established by the US Census Bureau as:

"An urbanized area is a land area comprising one or more places- central place(s) - and the adjacent densely settled surrounding area- urban fringe - that together have a residential population of at least 50,000 and an overall population density of at least 1,000 persons per square mile."

Those portions of a municipality located in an urbanized areas are automatically designated and must comply with the Phase II requirements. In addition, the EPA and/or a delegated authority can identify special areas which are considered additionally designated areas, and which must also comply with the Phase II Storm water Regulations.

The authority to administer the Clean Water Act and the storm water regulations can be delegated to an individual State, as is the case in New York. In New York, administration of the program is the responsibility of the Department of Environmental Conservation. In implementing Phase II, the Department of Environmental Conservation has determined that the East of Hudson reservoir watershed, which includes all of Patterson, should be considered an additionally designated area and subject to the Phase II requirements.

As required by the NYS DEC, on March 10, 2003 the Town submitted an application to obtain coverage under the NYS DEC General Permit for MS4 operators. By submitting an application (termed an NOI) the Town is agreeing to develop, implement and enforce a storm water management program (SWMP) designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable. In addition, where storm water discharges are to a receiving waterbody for which a total maximum daily load has been developed for any particular pollutant, such as the East Branch Reservoir, the MS4 Operator must also seek to attain a reduction in any pollutant of concern.

The six minimum measures that the Town of Patterson must address in their storm water program are:

  1. Public Education and Outreach on Storm Water Impacts: An MS4 must, at a minimum plan and conduct an ongoing public education and outreach program designed to describe the impacts of storm water discharges on waterbodies, and how the pollutants found in the storm water can be reduced.
  2. Public Involvement/Participation: An MS4 must, design and conduct a public involvement program. In addition, the MS4 must conduct a public hearing on the annual report that is submitted to the NYS DEC. And finally, the MS4 must identify a local point of contact for public concerns regarding storm water management and compliance with the permit.
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: An MS4 must develop, implement and enforce a program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges into the storm sewer system. An illicit discharge is any discharge to a storm sewer system, such as a catch basin or grass swale, which is not composed entirely of storm water and which is a significant contributor of pollutants.
  4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control: An MS4 must implement and enforce a program to reduce pollutants in any stormwater runoff from construction activities that result in a land disturbance of greater than or equal to one acre.
  5. Post-Construction Storm Water Management: An MS4 must develop and implement a program that includes a combination of structural and/or non-structural management practices appropriate for the community that will reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable In addition, the MS4 must adopt an ordinance or other regulatory mechanism to address post-construction runoff from new development and re-development projects to the extent allowable under State or local law.
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping For Municipal Operations: An MS4 must develop and implement an operation and maintenance program that is designed to reduce and prevent the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable from municipal activities, including but not limited to park and open space maintenance, fleet and building maintenance, new construction and land disturbances, storm water system maintenance, roadway and right-of-way maintenance, marine operations, and hydrologic habitat modification.

Documents relating to the Town of Patterson's Phase II Stormwater Management program can be found on the Patterson Town Board information page.

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