The Federal Water Pollution Control Act prohibits the discharge of any pollutant to navigable waters from a point source unless the discharge is authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Industrial, Manufacturing or Transportation
Industrial facilities and construction sites are regulated by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), through general storm water permits. Most businesses that store materials or process operations outdoors are required to obtain coverage under the SWRCB’s General Industrial Activities Stormwater Permit. These businesses are required to comply with the General Industrial Activities Stormwater Permit.
If your business conducts construction activities, including clearing, grading, stockpiling or excavation that results in soil disturbances of at least one acre, you are subject to the State Water Resources Control Board’s General Construction Activities Stormwater Permit.
Cities and counties are regulated through permits issued by the Regional Boards. Since 1990, operators of large storm drain systems such as San Bernardino County’s have been required to:
- Develop a storm water management program designed to prevent harmful pollutants from being dumped or washed by storm water runoff, into the storm water system, then discharged into local water bodies; and
- Obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Rules and Regulations
The 1987 passage of the Water Quality Act established NPDES permit requirements for discharges of storm water. The NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.
To download copies of the Basin Plan, NPDES permit, Water Quality Management Plan, and other important documents, visit our Reference Materials section.
The NPDES permit is determined by which Regional Board oversees any given area. In the case of San Bernardino County, it is the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. This board is responsible for overseeing the County’s MS4 NPDES permit and ensuring compliance with the discharge of pollutants into receiving water bodies.