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Welcome to Cass County, North Dakota
Stormwater Management

 

In response to the 1987 Amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the National Pollutants Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) storm water program.  The initial phase targeted the medium and large municipal storm water systems and in December of 1999, Phase II was established requiring small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) to create stormwater management programs.

Compliance with Phase II is required for all municipal separate storm sewer systems located within and Urbanized Area.  Several miles of Cass County's stormwater system fall within this urbanized area, requiring the County to comply with the federal stormwater regulations.

The stormwater management program was designed to address the increased rate and volume of runoff from the impervious surfaces often found in urbanized areas and the corresponding concentration of pollutants as result of the land use changes.  These changes impact an areas hydrology and water quality in a variety of ways:

 

  • Habitat modification and loss
  • Increased flooding
  • Decreased aquatic biological diversity
  • Increased sedimentation and erosion

Operators of the regulated municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) are required to design programs to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the "maximum extent practicable" to protect water quality and satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.

Implementation of the program requires the development of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and the achievement of measurable goals to satisfy each of the six Minimum Control Measures.

Phase II Minimum Control Measures

 

Under the stormwater program, MS4s are required to develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP). The SWPPP must cover six minimum control measures:

The MS4 must identify best management practices (BMP) and measurable goals associated with each minimum control measure. An annual report on the implementation of the SWPPP must be submitted each year.

Six minimum control measures
 

1. Public Education and Outreach

The SWPPP activities implemented under Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 1 will focus on increasing public awareness of the harmful effects of storm water runoff and its potential to affect the water quality of the Red River in the small regulated municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4's) metropolitan area. Services and educational information will be made available to the public to promote practices conducive to the reduction of pollution that results from storm water runoff. Outreach programs and educational activities that demonstrate the impacts of stormwater discharges on the Red River will be developed and implemented within the permit term to increase the general level of understanding of the SWPPP throughout the community.

2. Public Involvement

The SWPPP activities implemented under Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 2 will focus on increasing public involvement and participation in reducing the harmful effects of storm water runoff and its potential to affect the water quality of the Red River in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. Activities that will reduce or eliminate the impacts of stormwater discharges on the Red River will be developed and implemented within the permit term to increase the general level of involvement in the SWPPP throughout the community.

3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

The SWPPP activities implemented under Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 3 will focus on developing, implementing, and enforcing a program that will reduce and eliminate the impacts of illicit discharges into the storm sewer system during the permit term throughout the community.

4. Construction Site Discharge Controls

The SWPPP activities implemented under Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 4 will focus on developing, implementing, and enforcing a program that will reduce or eliminate the impacts of stormwater runoff from construction activities that result in a land disturbance of greater than or equal to one acre into the storm sewer system during the permit term throughout the community.

5. Post-Construction Controls for New Development

The SWPPP activities implemented under Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 5 will focus on developing, implementing, and enforcing a program that will reduce or eliminate the impacts of storm water runoff from new development and redevelopment projects that disturb greater than or equal to one acre, including projects that are less than one acre and are part of a larger development plan, that discharge into the storm sewer system during the permit term throughout the community.

6. Good Housekeeping & Pollution Prevention

The SWPPP activities implemented under Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 6 will focus on developing, implementing, and enforcing an operations and maintenance program that will reduce or eliminate the impacts of storm water pollution from open space maintenance, snow disposal, vehicle and building maintenance, land disturbances, and storm sewer system maintenance during the permit term throughout the community.