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Why is NPDES needed?

The initial emphasis of the national NPDES was to control discharges from industrial wastes and large municipal wastewater treatment plants.  Once these discharges were substantially under control, it became apparent that the combined impact of various smaller widespread (nonpoint) pollution sources were preventing many streams and receiving waters from meeting State and Federal water quality standards.  Nonpoint source pollution occurs when rain, snowmelt, or wind carries pollutants off the land and into water bodies.  Motor oil, dirt pet wastes, pesticides and fertilizers are all examples of nonpoint source pollutants. Adequate control of pollution is necessary to restore and maintain the use of the nation’s, and Genesee County’s, water resources.

As land becomes developed the amount of pavement, or impervious cover, tends to increase.  Anyone who has been in a parking lot during a large rain storm can see the funneling of the rainwater into a storm drain where it is then transported to local water sources like streams.  As more parking lots, homes, and roads are built, more storm drains are needed to transport the water from where it was once allowed to sit and soak into the ground, to local water sources.

Stormwater has been recognized as a significant source of pollution due to its large impact on water quality, particularly in developed areas.  Stormwater is of concern for two reasons, the volume and timing of runoff for flood control and water supplies and the potential contaminants that the water is carrying (i.e. water pollution).  Stormwater can create serious problems for local streams and their quality if care is not taken to ensure its integrity. 


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What is NPDES?

Why is NPDES needed?

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