In 1972, the Federal Clean Water Act was approved to protect water bodies from pollution. As part of the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) MS4 Program was created to protect and improve water quality through proper operation, maintenance and inspection of storm sewer systems. In October 2000, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to implement the NPDES MS4 stormwater permitting program in the State of Florida. Section 403.0885, Florida Statutes (F.S.) grants FDEP the authority to administer the MS4 program as it sees best fit. The program categorizes storm sewer system permits as either Phase I or Phase II based on the population of the area where the system is located. Palm Coast currently falls under a Phase II classification.
The City was issued its first NPDES MS4 permit in 2014, and the permit must be renewed every 5 years. The NPDES MS4 permit requires the City to establish a NPDES MS4 Program to develop, implement, and monitor various tasks associated with stormwater management. Local governments are given the opportunity to implement custom Best Management Practices (BMPs) that satisfy the six Minimum Control Measures set forth by the MS4 Program. The six Minimum Control Measures are listed below:
- Public Education and Outreach – Conduct outreach activities to inform the public of stormwater discharge and the community's role in reduction of runoff pollutants.
- Public Participation – Comply with State and local public notice requirements while promoting public involvement/participation programs.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination – Develop a map that shows major storm sewer system outfalls and implement a plan to detect, as well as eliminate, non-stormwater discharges to the MS4 system.
- Construction Site Runoff Control – Develop and enforce a control program for erosion and sediments at construction activity sites.
- Post-Construction Runoff Control - Develop and enforce a program to address post-construction runoff from new development and redevelopment sites.
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping – Develop a program to prevent or reduce runoff pollution from MS4 operator activities (maintenance of parks, fleet, buildings, stormwater system, etc.).
The City is currently working to develop numerous procedures, ordinances, and activities to comply with the NPDES MS4 permit. Be sure to check out the "Maintenance/Rehabilitation" tab to review completed MS4 City projects.