State of Kentucky


Kentucky Stormwater Laws and Regulations

The Clean Water Act (CWA) (1972) was amended to prohibit the discharge of any pollutant to the waters of the United States from a point source unless authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Since amending the CWA in 1987, there is increasing evidence that there are additional and more diffuse sources of surface water pollution. Specifically, stormwater runoff draining large surface areas (agriculture and urban lands) were found to be major causes of water quality impairment and non-attainment of designated beneficial uses. The term “designated use” is a goal, defined for a water body as the uses society, through various units of governments, determines should be attained in the water body. The primary federal regulation pushing communities towards the goal of “fishable and swimmable water” is the Clean Water Act. Sections of the Clean Water Act which specifically are relevant to stormwater address: 

  • Regulation of stormwater discharges
  • Water quality standards for water bodies receiving stormwater runoff 
  • Implications of non-attainment of water quality standards

As part of the MS4 Phase II Final Rule promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1999 (40 CFR 122.32), Departments of Transportation were identified as regulated MS4 entities. The KDOW regulated KYTC under the general stormwater permit (KYG20) as a co-permittee with other MS4s until the issuance of KYTC’s individual stormwater permit (KYS000003) effective October 1, 2012. Pursuant to KYS000003, KYTC is a Phase II regulated entity with authorization to discharge stormwater runoff into receiving waters of the Commonwealth. The permit applies to KYTC’s MS4 conveyances and outfalls to the Waters of the Commonwealth for KYTC facilities and rights-of-way located within the urbanized boundaries of the MS4s across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The primary objective of the permit is the reduction of pollutant discharges to the Maximum Extent Practicable (MEP) from facilities and rights-of-way covered under KYTC’s MS4 permit. KYTC is required under the 2012 MS4 Stormwater permit to address the following Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) by developing and implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) which will allow KYTC to document its methods for improvements in runoff water quality and/or decreases in pollutants being discharged. The MCMs are listed below:

1. Public Education and Outreach Requirements

2. Public Involvement and Participation Requirements

3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control Requirements

5. Post-Construction in New Development and Redevelopment

6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping

7. Reporting and Records Retention

KYTC is to implement the practices, policies, procedures and stormwater controls contained in the permit and addressed in this plan throughout the regulated area. KYTC is required to develop and administer a Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP) and update as necessary to maintain compliance with the KPDES permit.

Other regulatory requirements also impact KYTC’s MS4 program. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program, established under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1313) focuses on identifying and restoring polluted rivers, streams, lakes and other surface waters. A TMDL is a written, quantitative assessment of water quality problems in a water body and contributing sources of pollution. The TMDL specifies the minimum amount of a pollutant that can exist in a waterbody for it to achieve its designated use and meet Water Quality Standards (WQS), allocates pollutant load reductions, and provides the basis for taking actions needed to restore the water quality.

Links:

KYTC Storm Water Quality Management Plan