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NPDES MS4 Permit (City of Charlotte)
On November 1, 1995, the City of Charlotte began operating under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit Program.  The City was required to obtain a NPDES MS4 permit by federal regulations promulgated from the Clean Water Act.  The regulations required that municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more and that owned or operated a MS4 obtain an NPDES MS4 permit. These permits are typically issued for a five-year term at the end of which the City must apply for permit renewal. The City’s permit has been renewed three times and is currently in its fourth five-year permit cycle effective March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2018. View the City's NPDES MS4 Permit.

Storm​water Management Plan 

As part of the permit, the City is required to develop and implement a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) that details the programs and activities to be conducted during the 5-year permit term to meet the requirements of the permit. The SWMP is updated periodically throughout the permit term and is available for public review during the entire permit term.  View the City's current Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP).  

Annual Report

Each year, the City is required, by permit, to report on the activities listed in the Stormwater Management Plan. This report provides a comprehensive look at all of the Core Permit Programs (see below) that are implemented by the City. View the City’s Fiscal Year 2014 NPDES MS4 Stormwater Annual Report​.

Core Permit Programs
The City’s NPDES MS4 Permit and SWMP include the following core permit programs:
 
1. Public Education and Outreach Program – This program provides the general public, business and industry with information and activities related to water quality, storm water pollution sources, reduction of these sources, and methods of reporting pollution. This information is provided using a wide range of media channels and activities such as advertisements via print, radio, and television, and special events, school programs and mailings.
 
2. Public Involvement and Participation Program – This program provides the public, business and industry the opportunity to participate in the City’s storm water programs. This includes the ability to participate in policy decisions via the Storm Water Advisory Committee or the ability to help provide education to the public via the Storm Drain Marking Program.
 
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 receiving 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. View the City’s Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Policies and Procedures​.
 
4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control Program – The City maintains a delegated 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 facilities and field operations are managed in a way that minimizes stormwater pollutant discharges.  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. Field operations are evaluated for impacts on stormwater quality and best management practices are developed and implemented in order to minimize those impacts.
 
7. Industrial Facilities Evaluation and Monitoring Program – This program focuses on industrial facilities that discharge stormwater to the City’s MS4 and receiving streams.  Inspections are conducted at these facilities on a rotational basis to review site operations and materials handling practices.  In addition, if the facility has a stormwater permit, it 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 and plan designed to monitor major streams to determine water quality conditions and assist in evaluating the effectiveness of various stormwater management programs.  The program also is used to assist in locating illicit discharges and connections where possible.
 
9.     Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program – The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program is required by the Clean Water Act and is a plan developed by the State or USEPA that is designed to address pollutants that are causing impairments to water bodies.  The City’s NPDES MS4 permit requires that if the City is or becomes subject to an approved TMDL with an approved Waste Load Allocation (WLA) assigned to stormwater; then BMPs will be developed and implemented within the six minimum permit measures that are designed to reduce the TMDL pollutant of concern within the Permittee’s assigned MS4 NPDES regulated waste load allocation to the maximum extent practicable (MEP), and to the extent authorized by law.   
 
Questions/Comments 
 
Questions or comments concerning the City’s Permit, Stormwater Management Plan or Annual Report can be submitted in writing to Mr. Marc Recktenwald at the Offices of the City of Charlotte, Engineering and Property Management Department, Storm Water Services Division, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 14th floor, 600 East 4th Street, Charlotte, NC, 28202, by email to mrecktenwald@charlottenc.gov, or by phone at (704) 336-3122.