Urban stormwater runoff has the potential to negatively impact the quality of Corvallis' urban streams and the Willamette River. The City of Corvallis is working to decrease the amount of stormwater pollution in the community through a national program required by the Environmental Protection Agency, called the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II.
The EPA expanded the Clean Water Act of 1972 to include stormwater regulation to help control pollutants from entering waterways and protect water quality. In 1990, the EPA began regulating stormwater in Phase I communities (populations of 100,000 or more). On December 8, 1999, the EPA published final regulations for Phase II communities (population less than 100,000), which includes the City of Corvallis.
In compliance with the Phase II regulations, the City has developed a comprehensive stormwater management program plan (SWMPP) that is designed to protect water quality by reducing the discharge of pollutants to the storm drain system and receiving waters. Submittal of this document to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by February 2007 meets NPDES Phase II permit application requirements.
The City of Corvallis supports the NPDES Phase II program and recognizes that reducing stormwater pollution is essential to the quality of life for our citizens and our environment. The City is dedicated to implementing the Stormwater Management Program plan, in compliance with DEQ stormwater permit requirements, in order to protect water quality.
The SWMP plan includes six elements, termed "minimum control measures," required by the EPA as part of the Phase II program. In addition, the SWMPP includes measurable goals that will be used to assess the effectiveness of individual control measures and the stormwater management program as a whole, through a five-year implementation schedule. DEQ reporting requirements will be met as part of the SWMP plan implementation. Each of these elements is included as a section in the plan: Section 1: Public Education and Outreach
Distributing educational materials and performing public outreach to increase community awareness about urban runoff pollutants, and inform citizens on how they can make a difference to reduce stormwater pollution. Section 2: Public Participation/Involvement
Providing opportunities for citizens to participate in water quality improvement projects. Examples include stream cleanup, storm drain stenciling, and tree planting projects. Section 3: Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Developing and implementing a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system. Includes developing a system map, informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste, and adopting and implementing an ordinance. Section 4: Construction Site Runoff Control
Developing, implementing and enforcing an erosion prevention and sediment control program to reduce pollutants from construction sites. Section 5: Post-Construction Runoff Control
Developing, implementing, and enforcing a program to reduce the impact of new development and redevelopment on post-construction water quality and quantity. Controls include preventative actions such as protecting sensitive areas, or the use of structural best management practices such as grassed swales or detention ponds. Section 6: Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Developing and implementing a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program includes municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques (e.g. regular street sweeping, reduction in the use of pesticides, and frequent catch-basin cleaning).