The Clean Water Act (CWA) was passed in 1972 with the goal of improving water quality in the nation's streams. The primary emphasis was to establish a system to control pollution from point sources (i.e., localized and stationary pollution sources). The CWA established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), that requires anyone discharging a pollutant from a municipal wastewater or industrial point source must obtain a NPDES permit, which specifies effluent limits, monitoring requirements and enforcement mechanisms.
The CWA also contains regulations to address pollution from diffuse non-point sources. Phase I of the NPDES regulations required municipalities with populations over 100,000 to classify their storm water runoff and develop programs to reduce the pollutants in the runoff. In 1999, the EPA passed regulations, known as Phase II, that required permits for storm water discharges from small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) by March 2003. After a series of lawsuits, which temporarily suspended implementation of the Phase II regulations, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued its final Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Small MS4 General Permit on August 13, 2007.
That permit required small MS4s, including the City of Tyler, to develop a Storm Water Management Program. The original permit expired in 2012, and a new permit became effective on December 13, 2013. Tyler was able to review, revise and update its SWMP as part of the new permit. The City's current Storm Water Management Program consists of the following six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs):
- Public Education, Outreach and Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
- Post Construction Storm Water Management in Areas of New Development and Redevelopment
- Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
- Authorization for Municipal Construction Activities
Each MCM contains specific activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures and other management practices called Best Management Practices (BMPs), that the City will undertake in an effort to prevent or reduce the pollution of waters in and around the City. A copy of the City's current Storm Water Management Program can be found here: