National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II -
Storm Water Regulations
Communities within the Lower Grand River Watershed have formed a cooperative agreement to achieve compliance with the EPA's NPDES Phase II regulations for controlling stormwater pollution. Since the introduction of the Clean Water Act, our nation's rivers, lakes, and streams have shared a great success and are now fishable and swimmable. However, impairments to these waters still exist despite progress that has been made cleaning up point source pollution discharges. The largest contributor of water pollution today is stormwater runoff, or nonpoint source pollution.
Clean Water Act was amended in 1987 to include regulation of stormwater pollution from municipal storm sewer systems (MS4). Phase I of this program was promulgated in 1990 and was designed to address stormwater pollution from large metropolitan areas and construction sites larger than five acres. The City of Grand Rapids was included in Phase I. Phase II expands this program to include smaller construction sites and the communities surrounding large metropolitan areas. The communities in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area that are working together to comply with the watershed-based stormwater permit are listed below.
This permit structure allowed communities in the Lower Grand River Watershed to comply with NPDES Phase II regulations through a cooperative agreement under the auspices of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) expects to have a revised NPDES permit application for the MS4 communities in the Lower Grand River Watershed available late 2015, with completed applications due April 2016. All of the MS4 communities within the Lower Grand River Watershed have an approved Stormwater Pollution Prevention Initiative (SWPPI). The SWPPIs need to be updated to more fully address water quality issues caused by surface runoff of stormwater to comply with the Stormwater Management Plans (SWMPs) that are required in this revised permit. A grant application was submitted to MDEQ on December 2, 2013, for Stormwater, Asset Management and Waste Water (SAW) funding. Funds were not awarded to GVMC this year, but we will continue to assist communities throughout the permit application process through various committees working on issues ranging from public education to development of a model stormwater ordinance.