The Clean Water Act tasked the EPA with the role of developing a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program that would help cease the degradation of all natural waterways and to begin a movement that would eventually restore these waterways to their once and pristine glories. This permit program was initialized soon after the issuance of the Clean Water Act in 1972.
At first, the EPA focused on Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) and other point source discharges requiring these sources of pollution to obtain coverage in order to lawfully discharge into waterways. Then in 1987 the Water Quality Act was enacted and the EPA had to expand their NPDES permit program to include non-point source discharges, mainly to address the growing concern of the ill-effect stormwater was imposing upon receiving waters.
It was not until November 16, 1990 that the first phase of the revised Permit Program, also known as the NPDES Stormwater Program, went into effect. Under this phase, non-point sources of pollution including construction sites, industrial sites and MS4s were required to obtain coverage to discharge stormwater into the nation's waterways.
Click here to learn more about the issuance of this 1972 Act and how it affects the stormwater community.
Click here to learn more about the various State Regulations concerning Stormwater Management
Click here to visit the EPA's NPDES Stormwater Program's website.
The second phase of the NPDES Stormwater Program went into effect in the early 2003 that enforced more stringent requirements to the discharge of non-point sources that were originally covered in the first phase.
Currently, the EPA's mission within the stormwater community remains to be the implementation, enforcement, and improvement of the NPDES permit program. The EPA is still the permitting authority of the program in some states, territories and on most land in Indian County, but many states have received authorization to implement NPDES permitting program under the stipulate that the state implements the program to a minimum of all EPA mandated rules and regulations. South Carolina is one of the states that have been granted permitting authority and program is currently tasked to South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
Please visit the EPA Stormwater Website for more information.