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Regulation
Who is responsible for stormwater management and what types of legislation are in place to regulate stormwater?


Federal Government
The federal government is responsible for protecting federal waters and wetlands. The waters may include navigable waters, tributaries to the navigable waters, and interstate waters.

State Government
The federal government has delegated many clean water regulations to state agencies.  The main state agency in Georgia is the Department of Natural Resources-Environmental Protection Division. The state is responsible for protecting state and local waters, such as streams, lakes, and rivers, as well as state wetlands.

State Government

The federal government has delegated many clean water regulations to state agencies.  The main state agency in Georgia is the Department of Natural Resources-Environmental Protection Division. The state is responsible for protecting state and local waters, such as streams, lakes, and rivers, as well as state wetlands. 

Federal
In the early 1970s U.S. Congress enacted the Clean Water Act to safeguard water resources throughout the country from harmful pollutants. The primary goals of the act were to eliminate pollutant discharges and achieve improved water quality levels, proving water that is safe for human recreation, consumption and the support of aquatic habitats. The legislation provided the country with a structure of technical tools, principles, and financial assistance to reduce pollution and improve water quality. The Clean Water Act resulted in a series of water quality improvement programs and methods including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which has been responsible for substantial improvements to water quality throughout the nation.

State
The pollution of our waters prevents these resources from meeting water quality standards and designated uses regulated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's NPDES. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) administers the NPDES regulations for the state of Georgia.
The first phase of the NPDES issued in 1990 was aimed at medium and large Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) with populations of 100,000 or more. The MS4s include but are not limited to conveyance systems such as roads with drainage systems, local streets, curbs, gutters, ditches, and channels or storm drains owned and or operated by municipal entities, institutions, or any authorized organization. The first phase addressed pollution  from certain construction, industrial and municipal activities. The second phase issued in 1999 requires that some smaller MS4s to prepare and implement stormwater management plans to control and mitigate pollution. This is entitled NPDES Phase II MS4 and applies to the City of Covington.

The City's final Notice of Intent issued by the Georgia EPD.pdf can be viewed by clicking here.


Local

The City of Covington has adopted a number of regulations for stormwater management and watershed protection, including:

  • Stormwater Management Ordinance
  • Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance

“Section 4.2.5.2 of the current General NPDES MS4 Storm Water Permit encourages the use of Green Infrastructure / Low Impact Development (GI / LID) practices and approaches on both new and redeveloped sites.  Click the link below to learn more about GI / LID.”

In addition to the above ordinances, the City of Covington has adopted the below design guidelines for use in new development and re-development:

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