In 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the terms of the 1987 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), also referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA), required that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) expand its permitting program to include a new federally mandated program to control stormwater runoff and protect waterways. According to the federal law, commonly known as Stormwater Phase II, permits will be required for stormwater discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in urbanized areas and for construction activities disturbing one or more acres. The NYSDEC has developed two general permits, one for MS4s in urbanized areas and one for construction activities. The permits are part of the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES). Operators of regulated MS4s and operators of construction activities were required to obtain permit coverage under either an individual SPDES permit or one of the general permits no later than March 10th, 2003 or prior to commencement of construction.

In addition to obtaining the required permits, MS4’s must also develop, implement and enforce a stormwater management program (SWMP) designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from small MS4’s to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) to protect the water quality and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Environmental Conservation Law and the CWA. SWMP’s must include six minimum control measures. For each of these six minimum measures, measurable goals are to be selected, identified and management practices implemented to achieve those measurable goals. The SWMP’s must be fully developed and implemented within five years of the issuance date of the permit, January 8th, 2008.

The Saratoga County Department of Public Works filed the required Notice of Intent (NOI) to obtain permit coverage under a SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from MS4s on March 5th, 2003 and is currently covered under MS4 SPDES No. NYR20A209. The Department of Public Works also files, as necessary, all required documents for its highway construction activities in order to receive coverage under SPDES General Permit for construction related stormwater discharges.

To learn more about the Federal and State Stormwater programs visit the following websites:

To learn more about the Saratoga County Stormwater Program review the following documents: