The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program is authorized to state governments by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform many permitting, administrative and enforcement aspects of the program.
The DCR program to manage stormwater and improve water quality involves public education, public participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction and post-construction stormwater management controls and good housekeeping. Good housekeeping involves street sweeping of parkways, cleaning street drains and associated drainage systems and using control measures to protect sensitive receiving waters. The list of DCR facilities and descriptions of the program elements are described in the Stormwater Management Plan.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is convening a stormwater Advisory Committee (AC) in preparation for updating the Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook and the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (WPA) stormwater regulations (310 CMR 10.05(6)). MassDEP is undertaking these updates as part of its mission to protect wetland and water resources of the Commonwealth. The Advisory Committee will focus on two topics:
MassDEP is developing measures that will more closely align the WPA stormwater management standards in wetlands areas with MS4 General Permit stormwater rules. These measures are expected to provide consistency between federal and state regulations, simplify the stormwater permitting process, and help the 260 MS4 communities meet the MS4 deadline to adopt local rules that meet EPA’s Minimum Control Measures. Alignment of the stormwater regulatory frameworks will also provide benefits that improve resilience for wetland ecosystems and for drainage and transportation infrastructures under changing climate conditions.
MassDEP is preparing to update the Wetlands Protection Act stormwater regulations pertaining to precipitation intensity and frequency by, at a minimum, adopting the NOAA Atlas 14-Precipitation-Frequency Atlas of the United States Volume 10 Version 3.0: Northeastern States. This will address related stormwater management issues and broader climate resilience implications by incorporating the most recent storm data. MassDEP is also considering options for incorporating precipitation projections that account for future conditions.
MassDEP will also update the Advisory Committee on additions to the MA Stormwater Handbook such as the MassDEP Wetlands Program Solar Array Policy and special considerations being developed to address constraints imposed by limited Rights of Way (ROW) on MassDOT linear highway projects.
Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook & Standards Page
Massachusetts Structural Best Management Practices