Stormwater Permit Activities
by John T. Doerfer, Project Hydrologist, Master Planning Program
A major deadline occurred on March 10, 2003 when all "Phase II" municipalities in Colorado needed to submit their initial stormwater permit applications to the state Water Quality Control Division (WQCD). In addition, the larger "Phase I" cities of Denver, Aurora, and Lakewood were reissued permits for a second 5-year permit term in March. The District assisted its member governments in 2003 with these efforts, and will continue to do so in 2004.
Phase II Municipalities
The District hosted a series of monthly meetings of the Municipal Workgroup of the Colorado Stormwater Task Force to discuss permit application requirements. These meetings covered the six management programs that a Phase II MS4 will develop, implement, and enforce. These are: (1) Public education and outreach; (2) Public involvement and participation; (3) Illicit discharge detection and elimination; (4) Construction site runoff control; (5) Post-construction runoff management in new development and redevelopment; and, (6) Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations. "Measurable Goals" required to judge permit compliance were also included.
Of the 53 Phase II municipalities in Colorado, all submitted their applications on time. Congratulations!
Phase II MS4s have a period of 5 years to fully implement their programs. The District will continue to provide assistance to its local governments as requested and with the support of the Board. The District plans to hold quarterly meetings in the future.
Phase I Municipalities
Three significant changes were made to the permit conditions. One was to shift emphasis from inspection of industrial sites to education of industries. The second change was to revise the Construction Sites Program to be applicable to proposed developments greater than 1 acre (the previous criteria was 5 acres). The third change was additional reporting requirements in the wet-weather monitoring program. In 2003, the District developed a 5-year work plan with the U.S. Geological Survey that is designed to assess long-term trends in stormwater quality for watershed planning.