Because it has more than 100,000 residents, the City of Charlotte had to obtain a Phase I NPDES permit to manage storm water anywhere in the City. Charlotte's Phase I permit was received in 1993. Charlotte has been through one permit renewal in 2000 and is currently undergoing another renewal to be aligned with the six minimum measures of the Phase II permits. Recently, the City's NPDES Permit was renewed.
The permit that the City of Charlotte currently operates under has ten specific sections.
View the City's draft Permit renewal (SWMP)
View the City's NPDES Permit Renewal Application Form
Improper disposal of pollutants
1. Public Education and Outreach Program – This program provides the general public as well as business and industry with valuable information on general water quality, pollution prevention, and reporting problems, as well as specialized information on various activities that have the potential to cause pollution and harm water quality. This information is provided using a wide range of media including print, radio, and television.
2. Public Involvement and Participation Program – This program provides the general public as well as business and industry the opportunity to participate in various programs within the City's SWMP. Charlotte-Mecklenburg maintains a Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC), which is an appointed citizen panel to review and comment on the City's stormwater programs. In addition, public volunteer opportunities are available with City/County programs such as Storm Drain Marking.
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Program – This program is designed to protect water quality by detecting and eliminating pollution sources from illicit connections such as improper sewage or wastewater connections; illegal discharges such as chemical, paint, or oil dumping; and spills such as sewer overflows or vehicle accidents involving discharges of fuel, oil, and other chemicals. As part of this program, the City enforces the "City of Charlotte - Stormwater Pollution Control Ordinance", which prohibits the discharge of pollutants to the storm drain system and streams. The City relies on reports from the public, various monitoring programs, and a wide range of other activities to assist in identifying and eliminating these sources of pollution.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Policies and Procedures (Manual for Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville)
4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control Program – The City maintains a local erosion and sediment control program to control sediments and other pollutants from construction sites. As part of this, the program enforces the "City of Charlotte - Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance", which requires proper erosion control on project sites. The City conducts routine inspections of construction sites and issues violation notices and fines when necessary to ensure compliance with the ordinance.
5. Post Construction Stormwater Management Program – The City maintains a program to control the discharge of pollutants in stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment projects. As part of this, the program enforces the “City of Charlotte – Post Construction Controls Ordinance”, which requires structural stormwater controls for applicable new development and redevelopment projects as defined in the ordinance. The program involves review and approval of project plans as well as site inspections and maintenance activities to ensure that treatment practices are properly operated and maintained.
6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping Program – This program focuses on ensuring that City owned and operated facilities are properly operated and maintained to reduce stormwater pollutant discharges from these facilities. Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans and Spill Response Plans are prepared for applicable facilities that conduct activities with the potential for stormwater pollutant discharges. The City conducts annual inspections and training sessions at these facilities to ensure that requirements are being met.
7. Industrial Facilities Evaluation and Monitoring Program – This program focuses on industrial facilities that are permitted to discharge stormwater to the City's MS4 and receiving streams. Inspections are conducted at these facilities to review site operations and materials handling practices. In addition, the facility site permit is reviewed to ensure that permit conditions are adhered to.
8. Water Quality Assessment and Monitoring Program – The City maintains a water quality monitoring program designed to monitor major streams to determine water quality conditions and gauge the effectiveness of various stormwater management programs. The program also is used to assist in locating illicit discharges and connections.
9. Water Quality Recovery Program – The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program is required by the Clean Water Act and is basically a plan designed to address pollutants that are causing impairments to water bodies. The City's NPDES permit requires that Water Quality Recovery Plans be prepared and implemented for streams that are subject to a TMDL. The plans are designed to assess the pollutant of concern and develop strategies to address pollutant sources causing the impairment.
10. Threatened or Endangered Species Program – Certain waters provide habitat for aquatic animal species that are listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544 and subsequent modifications. Currently, Six Mile Creek has been identified as a water body supporting the Carolina heelsplitter, which is a Federal and State listed endangered species; however, to date, there have been no formal site-specific management plans approved by the State for Six Mile Creek concerning this issue. The City will work to develop and implement additional components within its SWMP as required, once a formal site-specific management plan is adopted by the State.
For more information, contact City Water Quality Team Leader, Marc Recktenwald at 704-336-3122 .