Stormwater Permit Compliance

Stormwater Permit Compliance

Stormwater Permit Compliance

Stormwater management programs required by the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit include, among other things, the implementation and maintenance of structural and non-structural BMP to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff from residential, commercial, and industrial areas, including construction sites. The TPDES permit program requires each Joint Task Force (JTF) member to:

  1. Effectively prohibit illegal dumping and disposal of hazardous chemicals

  2. Monitor and analyze stormwater

  3. Promote the proper management of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

The Flood Control District is required to comply with the requirements of the following individual and general permits:

  • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4): The Flood Control District’s Phase I MS4 permit was originally issued in 1998 with a five-year permit term. Through the implementation of the Stormwater Management Program (SWMP), the District incorporates activities to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants into surface waters of the state of Texas.
  • Construction General Permit (CGP): In compliance with this permit, the Flood Control District develops a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for its construction projects to better manage erosion and construction site runoff through the use of construction BMPs.
  • Pesticide General Permit (PGP): The Flood Control District is permitted under the PGP for all pesticide applications into, over, or near our waterways and other drainage channels. By implementing a Pesticide Discharge Management Plan (PDMP), the Flood Control District minimizes pesticide discharges, thereby protecting local waterways.
  • Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP): The Flood Control District tracks compliance with this permit by ensuring that industrial applicants for discharge to Flood Control District rights of way have proper stormwater and wastewater pollution safeguards in place. For information on tracking compliance with this permit, as described above, visit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s MSGP website.

    Obtain a copy of the Harris County Discharge Application Form
    Obtain a copy of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan

To read about the history and evolution of the Flood Control District’s stormwater permit compliance, please visit the Stormwater Permit Program History.

Stormwater Permit Program History

On November 16, 1990, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater discharge regulations. These NPDES regulations require permits for stormwater discharged into waters of the United States. Permit provisions require a SWMP and the use of BMP: activities, procedures, and structures to minimize or reduce pollution to the waters of the U.S.

The Harris County Flood Control District, the City of Houston, Harris County, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are the agencies that form the Joint Task Force (JTF) in a cooperative effort to address the EPA NPDES stormwater permit requirements. The EPA has commended the JTF for the quality of its implementation as well as the consensus, cooperation and partnership.

The JTF stormwater permit renewal was issued on February 24, 2009 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit program. The TPDES regulations mirror the requirements of the NPDES permitting program, but allow the state of Texas to locally manage stormwater permits and adapt requirements as appropriate. The JTF began the TPDES permit renewal process once again in August 2013, however, TxDOT will no longer be a part of the JTF.

For more information on these programs, please visit the Clean Water Clear Choice.