NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permitting program in two phases. Phase I, promulgated in 1990, addresses the following sources:
"Large" and "medium" municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) located in incorporated places and counties with populations of 100,000 or more, and Eleven categories of industrial activity, one of which is large construction activity that disturbs 5 or more acres of land.
Phase II, promulgated in 1999, addresses additional sources, including MS4s not regulated under Phase I, and small construction activity disturbing between 1 and 5 acres.
In October 2000, EPA authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to implement the NPDES stormwater permitting program in the State of Florida (in all areas except Indian Country lands). DEP's authority to administer the NPDES program is set forth in Section 403.0885, Florida Statutes (F.S.). The NPDES stormwater program regulates point source discharges of stormwater into surface waters of the State of Florida from certain municipal, industrial and construction activities. As the NPDES stormwater permitting authority, DEP is responsible for promulgating rules and issuing permits, managing and reviewing permit applications, and performing compliance and enforcement activities.
The NPDES stormwater permitting program is separate from the State's stormwater/environmental resource permitting programs authorized by Part IV, Chapter 373, F.S. (593 KB) and implemented by DEP and the water management districts using these rules, and from local stormwater/water quality programs, which have their own regulations and permitting requirements.
The sources of stormwater discharges regulated under the NPDES program fall into three categories.