Storm Water Permits
Over the past 30 years, EPA and state water quality agencies have realized the great impact that rain water runoff has on surface waters - streams, rivers, lakes, estuary and ocean waters. Rain water falling on industries, urban areas and construction activities can become contaminated with sediments, suspended solids, nutrients phosphorous and nitrogen, metals, pesticides, organic material and floating trash. These pollutants are then carried into the surface waters. Unlike sanitary wastewater and industrial wastewater, most storm water is not treated prior to entering streams. Pollution of storm water runoff must be prevented at the source.
Federal, state and local governments have passed law and regulations to address the problem of polluted runoff. Phase I EPA storm water regulations initiated a national storm water permitting program in 1990, that applied to industrial activities, to construction sites of five acres or more and to urban runoff from larger cities. Phase II regulations in 1999 address additional urbanized areas, certain cities with population over 10,000, and construction activities of one to five acres.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Pollution Control implements the EPA Phase I and Phase II regulations in Tennessee.