Long Awaited Updates for Stormwater Control RegulationsNonpoint source pollution, especially runoff from stormwater, has been identified as a major contributor to water quality impairment of waterways. The New Jersey Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) and the Municipal Stormwater Regulation Program aim to protect the quality of NJ’s ground and surface waters.
There are four general permits issued for stormwater discharges from municipal separate stormwater sewers (MS4) under this program: (i) Tier A Municipal Permit (applicable to densely populated regions and communities along the coast); (ii) Tier B Municipal Stormwater Permit (mostly rural and non-coastal); (iii) Public Complex Stormwater Permit (iv); and Highway Agency Stormwater Permit.
|Abnormal Blue, Shiny Discharge from an Overflow Stormwater Drain|
The final stormwater rules published in 2004 require the adequate treatment and management of stormwater before it is discharged into different types of waters throughout the state. However, these rules needed to be upgraded as they were somewhat confusing, and most were largely ignored by municipalities resulting in increased water pollution. The final renewal permits for Tier A and B municipalities were issued by DEP on November 9, 2017, and will become effective on Jan 01, 2018. The existing permits will remain in full force and effect until renewal permits are issued.
The renewed Tier A and Tier B permits include some welcoming updates that include the following: (i) reorganization of the SBRs to align with the EPA’s NPDES regulations, which will improve clarity between Federal and state criteria; (ii) enhanced public education and outreach requirements; and (iii) increased focus on municipal enforcement of the post-construction development regulations.
What is NEW in Tier A MS4 NJPDES permit? – some key improvements