The Clean Water Act, enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, was designed to control water pollution throughout the United States by regulating point and non-point sources that discharge pollutants into the country's waters. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is tasked on the state level to enforce the US EPA NPDES storm water regulations through a permitting process. The IDNR's Stormwater program was implemented in several phases.
The first stage of the Iowa NPDES storm water program, Phase I, required permits for "medium" to "large" municipalities and construction activities of 5-acres of land or more. Only Des Moines and Cedar Rapids were impacted by this first phase in the late 1990s. The NPDES Phase II implementation extended requirements to include smaller municipalities and land disturbing activities of one or more acres. Forty-three additional Iowa cities, including Iowa City, are now required to administer storm water quality programs throughout their communities.
What is required in Iowa City?
As a requirement of Iowa City's NPDES Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit (2012), a Construction Site Runoff (CSR) Permit must be obtained and Best Management Practices (BMPs) implemented prior to any construction activities that will disturb one or more acres and for construction activities of any size within a larger development. The CSR permit and inspection process are designed to prevent storm water pollution to the maximum extent possible, and ensure that all Iowa City construction activities comply with the NPDES General Permit #2 for Industrial Activities Associated with Construction Activities.
For more information on the City of Iowa City Construction Site Runoff Program, please contact:
Julie Tallman, Development Regulations Specialist
Building Division, Neighborhood & Development Services
410 E Washington, Iowa City IA 52240