City of Tuscaloosa


The City of Tuscaloosa, an EPA designated Phase II MS4, has created a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) in compliance with their municipal NPDES permit. The SWMP outlines requirements for the City of Tuscaloosa in regards to the management of stormwater runoff within the City. The SWMP measures goals with implementation strategies for the following minimum measures:

  1. public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
  2. public involvement and participation
  3. illicit discharge detection and elimination
  4. construction site stormwater runoff control
  5. post-construction stormwater management
  6. pollution prevention/good housekeeping

Stormwater Management Plan (9/25/2014)

A. STORMWATER MANAGEMENT MISSION STATEMENT

With an effective Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP), the City of Tuscaloosa will reduce the discharge of pollutants from the City MS4 to the maximum extent practicable. Through existing and modified local ordinances and technical standards, the City will require and promote the use of Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure techniques for both new development and redevelopment. This guiding philosophy will effectively reduce runoff quantity and improve water quality through both a net reduction of impervious area and enhanced infiltration of stormwater discharges.

The City of Tuscaloosa will also:

  • identify and eliminate illicit discharges through a comprehensive outfall mapping and wet and dry-weather inspection program.
  • inspect construction sites both during and after construction and enforce existing and modified ordinances to reduce or eliminate erosion and associated pollutant discharges.
  • develop Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for all Municipal Operations to reduce contaminated runoff from all public streets and facilities.
  • continuously evaluate the SWMP and modify the plan as necessary to maximize pollutant reduction and eliminate ineffective measures.

ARTICLE IX. of the City of Tuscaloosa’s municipal code establishes local requirements for stormwater runoff associated with development activities. This article is enacted to preserve, protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, through the reduction, control and prevention of the discharge of pollutants to the MS4. It is the expressed intent of the city council in enacting this article to provide for and promote compliance by the city with federal and state laws governing the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 and to provide for and promote compliance with the NPDES stormwater program and the terms of the city's municipal phase II stormwater permit. This article shall be known as the "Tuscaloosa NPDES Stormwater Compliance Ordinance."

Municipal Code: City of TUSCALOOSA

ARTICLE IX. - STORMWATER PHASE II

Sec. 21-150. - Preamble, findings of fact and intent.

  1. The City of Tuscaloosa has for a number of years had a storm drainage and erosion control ordinance intended to provide a measure for the City of Tuscaloosa to minimize erosion and sedimentation onto city streets and rights-of-way. The existing subdivision regulations and erosion control ordinance and the associated site development permit (SDP) regulations shall remain in effect and are enhanced but not superceded by this article.
  2. However, as required by phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater program, as published in the Federal Register on December 8, 1999, and promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act (CWA), a regulated small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) operator must develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from their MS4 to the "maximum extent practicable," to protect water quality and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the CWA. The rule provides for the use of narrative, rather than numeric, effluent limitations that require implementation of best management practices (BMPs).
  3. Under the stormwater phase II final rule, the small MS4 stormwater management program must include the following six (6) minimum control measures, except where a statewide NPDES program exists to address that control measure:
    1. Public education and outreach. Distributing educational materials and performing outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted stormwater runoff discharges can have on water quality;
    2. Public participation/involvement. Providing opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation, including effectively publicizing public hearings and/or encouraging citizen representatives on a stormwater management panel;
    3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination. Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the MS4.
    4. Construction-site runoff control. Developing, implementing, and enforcing an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land or less, if part of a larger common plan or development. ADEM Administrative Code Ch. 335-6-12 implements a statewide construction stormwater regulatory program consistent with NPDES requirements for construction activities.
    5. Postconstruction runoff control. Developing, implementing, and enforcing a program to address discharges of postconstruction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment areas. ADEM Administrative Code Ch. 335-6-12 implements a statewide construction stormwater regulatory program consistent with NPDES requirements for postconstruction activities.
    6. Pollution prevention/good housekeeping. Developing and implementing a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques.
  4. As required by phase II of the NPDES stormwater program, a regulated small MS4 operator must identify its selection of BMPs and measurable goals for each minimum measure in the permit application. The evaluation and assessment of those chosen BMPs and measurable goals must be included in periodic reports to the NPDES permitting authority. The City of Tuscaloosa has prepared and submitted to ADEM a stormwater management plan that addresses these elements.
  5. This article is enacted to preserve, protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, through the reduction, control and prevention of the discharge of pollutants to the MS4. It is the expressed intent of the city council in enacting this article to provide for and promote compliance by the city with federal and state laws governing the discharge of pollutants from the MS4 and to provide for and promote compliance with the NPDES stormwater program and the terms of the city's municipal phase II stormwater permit. This article shall be known as the "Tuscaloosa NPDES Stormwater Compliance Ordinance."
  6. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the city or its officials, employees, agents or attorneys to restore or cause the restoration of property damaged by erosion or sedimentation in violation of this article or to otherwise seek or assist others in seeking compensation to private property owners for any such damage caused by a violation of this article. The city and its officials, employees, agents and attorneys shall not be liable for any condition or damages that result from any failure to observe or recognize a hazardous condition, any failure of an approved plan to prevent erosion or sedimentation, or any failure of the city to cause owners and builders to adhere to the terms of this article. Nothing herein shall be construed to expand the liability of the city or its officials, employees, agents or attorneys nor shall it create any additional, further, different or expanded claim or cause of action.

(Ord. No. 6572, § 1, 2-3-04)

Sec. 21-152. - Illicit discharges.

Recognizing the adverse effects that illicit discharges can have on receiving waters as well as the health, safety, and welfare of local citizens, this article implements and enforces an illicit discharge detection and elimination program.

(a) Illicit discharge prohibitions.

(1) The illicit discharge of pollutants to the MS4 by any person is prohibited. The spilling, dumping, or disposal of materials other than stormwater in such a manner as to cause the illicit discharge of pollutants to the MS4 is also prohibited.

(b) Permits. A separate stormwater permit from the City of Tuscaloosa is not required under this article due to the existing ADEM NPDES stormwater permit program. However, the City of Tuscaloosa expressly reserves the right to protect the MS4, ensure the health, safety, and welfare of local citizens, and to promote compliance with the terms of the city's stormwater phase II permit by detecting and eliminating illicit discharges. Any such illicit discharge shall be eliminated by the application and enforcement of the Code of Tuscaloosa as necessary, regardless of ADEM permit status.

(c) ADEM notice of registration. Each SDP or set of subdivision plans submitted to the city engineer for approval shall include a copy of the proposed ADEM notice of registration specific to the site in question.

(d) Design requirements. Facilities submitted for approval in the subdivision or SDP process shall be designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the MS4 to the "maximum extent practicable", to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act, the AWPCA and the ADEM NPDES stormwater permit program. Grading, erosion control, sediment control, waterway crossings and any other necessary best management practices shall meet the design criteria set forth in the most recent edition of the Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control, Sediment Control, and Stormwater Management on Construction Sites and Urban Areas.

(e) Inspection. Inspections by the director of transportation/city engineer or his representative for the purpose of identifying potential illicit discharges shall be made as part of the subdivision, site development, or building inspection process, or as the response to a citizen complaint or city council request. Inspections to identify pollutant sources from upland areas may also be generated by the discovery and subsequent investigation and tracing of downstream pollutants in the MS4.

(f) Enforcement. Every effort shall be made to achieve the resolution of isolated violations of this article via the established subdivision, site development permit, and building inspection procedures. Repeated or gross violations of this article or those violations where the aforementioned measures cannot be successfully applied shall be treated as a violation of the Code of Tuscaloosa punishable in accordance with section 11-45-9, Code of Alabama, 1975.

ARTICLE XII. - REGULATION OF CERTAIN LAND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

Land Development Activities Regulations Generally

Sec. 21-210. - Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to establish minimum standards for design and construction of site grading and site and land development projects within the city and within its police jurisdiction. These minimum standards for land development activities are intended to protect and promote the public health, safety and general welfare by requiring the developing party to achieve these goals:

  • The design and construction of safe and durable streets, driveways and parking lots.
  • The design and construction of adequate stormwater drainage systems to reduce flooding.
  • The design and construction of adequate, reliable and durable sanitary sewer systems that prevent illicit discharges.
  • Preparing complete and accurate plans to enable the developing party to adequately address grading and lot issues.
  • Insuring that there are adequate measures in place to control erosion and sediment and that stormwater pollution is reduced and controlled through establishment and maintenance of best management practices during construction and development activities.
  • That appropriate measures have been taken to maintain stormwater sewer systems.

(Ord. No. 7075, § 2, 5-22-07)

Sec. 21-211. - Scope.

This article does not contain all the regulations and requirements for development activities, design and construction nor does a permit issued pursuant to the provisions hereof serve as a substitute for obtaining and complying with all other applicable city ordinances, building and related codes, zoning restrictions, and other applicable regulations. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing development activities may also require building and related technical permits and inspections, compliance with zoning and subdivision ordinances and regulations. Municipal utilities for water and sewer require compliance with separate ordinances and policies of the water and sewer department of the city.

Sec. 21-215. - Design objectives.

The purpose of this article is to establish minimum requirements to be met by a developer or persons with respect to development and driveway activities on property in the area. The design objectives of the developers land development plan and application for a land development permit shall sufficiently and adequately address the following issues:

  1. Safe and functional design of roads, streets, driveways, and parking lots.
  2. Safe and functional design of sidewalks, walkways, trails and other pedestrian routes.
  3. Safe and functional design of drainage inlets, culverts, pipes and open channels.
  4. Minimize flooding, interruptions of utility service, traffic inconvenience and potential water damage to residences and businesses.
  5. Minimize the amount of public expenditures needed for maintenance of streets and roads, flood control projects, flood relief efforts, and stormwater facility maintenance.
  6. Preservation of trees, woods, natural meadows and other green spaces as much as possible (in conjunction with allowable land uses and zoning codes).
  7. Protect and enhance streams, wetlands, waterways and rivers for wildlife and plants by reducing stormwater pollution, erosion, and negative stormwater impacts.
  8. Promote development of recreational facilities and design aesthetics along streams, waterways, wooded areas and other green ways to benefit local neighborhoods.
  9. Protect and enhance the source of drinking water for the city in Lake Tuscaloosa, Harris Lake and Lake Nicol.
  10. Eliminate illicit discharges in the area.
  11. Protect and promote the general welfare of all citizens by achieving the goals of this article.
  12. Preserve and protect existing utilities and utility easements.

(Ord. No. 7075, § 2, 5-22-07)

City of Tuscaloosa Stormwater Documents

State of Alabama STORMWATER DOCUMENTS