Storm water management is a key issue on all levels of government

The general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a permit program that regulates point sources that discharge into waters of the United States. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued its finalized General NPDES Permit for storm water discharges from construction site activities on July 30, 2013 (ILR10). The prior general permit EXPIRED on July 31, 2013 and the new five-year general permit became effective on August 1, 2013. Download a copy of the new permit.

Permittees that had discharges from construction sites initially covered under the now expired ILR10 must update or revise their Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) as necessary to ensure compliance with this latest ILR10 permit. The permit provides for a 12-month phase-in to allow time to modify the SWPPP.

Other items of note in the new general permit:

  • There were additions to the list of non-storm water discharges that are prohibited which can be found in Part III. A. 3.
  • There is new language in this revised permit that the Illinois EPA added in accordance with federal Clean Water regulations. Part IV. D.2.a. is a new section dealing with erosion and sediment controls; additional language was put in Part IV. D.2.b. to clarify the “stabilization practices”; and a new section in Part IV.D.2.f. sets forth pollution prevention measures.
  • The new permit references Best Management Practices (BMPs) for post construction storm water management. Part IV.D.2.h. now includes language that requires the permittee to “plan for and put in place storm water BMPs to retain the greatest amount of post-development storm water runoff practicable given the site and project constraints by installing one or more of the Best Management Practices (BMPSs) as described in the Illinois Urban Manual.” The IEPA believes that this new language requires a permittee to “consider” post-construction storm water management and use practicable measures. Find the Illinois Urban Manual.
    (NOTE: the Illinois Urban Manual is a technical manual issued by the various Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the state. Staff of the Districts may also provide technical assistance).

What’s Next? The federal EPA intends to require post-construction storm water management and so this issue will be a focal point in 2014 as the IEPA must reissue the “MS4” permits. Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) are systems owned by a municipality, the state or another public entity that handle discharges to waters of the United States. These are the systems that must collect and convey storm water. These are NOT combined systems with sewers nor are they sewage treatment plants. A local developer is required to comply with any local ordinance that carries out the requirements of this permit. The Illinois Association of REALTORS® will continue to participate in discussions on the post-construction requirements for storm water management due to the potential added costs on developers.

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About Julie Sullivan

Julie Sullivan is Director of Legislative and Political Affairs for Illinois REALTORS®. She assists in carrying out the legislative programs and policies of the Association, monitors and provides research and analysis on local, state, and federal legislation impacting the real estate industry, and represents the Association before the General Assembly, other elected officials, and other interest groups. She also prepares and coordinates materials related to the election of candidates for public office. Sullivan writes and edits State Capitol Report, the legislative newsletter of the Association, and contributes to the Illinois REALTOR® Magazine on governmental affairs issues. She also advises and provides staff support to the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Member Involvement Group, the Realtors® Political Action Committee and various task forces and working groups which are appointed from time to time.

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