Regulations for preventing stormwater pollution
The U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA) requires water quality standards to be established and enforced by federal and state law. The CWA prohibits the discharge of pollutants from identifiable sources – such as a storm drain – into surface waters without a special permit.
The permit is called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permit for the Multiple Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) and are issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to multiple cities and Johnson County. All permit holders are required to prepare a Stormwater Management Plan describing how they will address required program elements, including best management practices, a schedule of activities and the entity responsible for implementation. The six program elements included in the NPDES MS4 permits are listed below:
Public Education and Outreach
Public education and outreach ensures greater support and compliance for the program. This measure relies on forming partnerships, using educational materials and strategies and reaching diverse audiences.
An active and involved community is vital to the success of a stormwater management program. Public input is needed in the development and implementation of the program.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
This measure focuses on decreasing pollutant levels from illicit discharges – illegal pollution – that can significantly degrade water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife and human health. The measure includes locating problem areas, finding the sources, removing/correcting illegal connections to the storm drainage system and documenting actions taken.
Construction Site Runoff Control
Polluted stormwater runoff from construction sites often flows to the storm sewer system and ultimately is discharged into local rivers and streams. The introduction of silt and pollutants from construction sites can harm the physical, chemical and biological components of a community's water ways.
Post-Construction Runoff Control
Runoff from areas undergoing development/redevelopment has been shown to significantly affect bodies of water. This measure will help prevent damage to aquatic life and property while using the most cost-effective approach to stormwater quality management.
Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Municipalities conduct many activities that can pose a threat to water quality if practices and procedures are not in place to prevent pollutants from entering the stormwater system.
Johnson County, Kansas Permit and Stormwater Management Plan
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a NPDES permit to Johnson County, Kansas in 2014 to regulate discharges into the multiple storm sewer system owned by the County. This permit only covers stormwater discharges into the storm sewer system in the unincorporated area of the County. Most cities in Johnson County also hold NPDES permits with KDHE and are responsible for regulating stormwater discharges within city limits. The permit requires that Johnson County develop a Stormwater Management Plan that outlines how the minimum control measures listed above will be addressed. The permit and stormwater management plan for Johnson County are available at the links below. Comments regarding the County's MS4 program and plan can be submitted, in writing, to the Johnson County Public Works Department, 1800 West Old Highway 56, Olathe, KS 66061.
What Are Your City's Regulations?
Cities in Johnson County have adopted laws to prevent stormwater pollution and protect our community's water quality. Contact your city hall to learn more about your city's specific regulations regarding stormwater pollution prevention.