Regulatory Information

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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.

The 1987 passage of the Water Quality Act established NPDES permit requirements for discharges of stormwater. The NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.

Industrial facilities and construction sites are regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board, through general stormwater permits. Cities and counties are regulated through permits issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Boards. Since 1990, operators of large storm drain systems such as Orange County's have been required to:

  • Develop a stormwater management program designed to prevent harmful pollutants from being dumped or washed by stormwater runoff into the stormwater system, then discharged into local waterbodies; and
  • Obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.


Municipal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits

The permits of each region outline additional steps for a storm water management program and specify requirements to help protect the beneficial uses of the receiving waters. They require permittees to develop and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control/reduce the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States to the maximum extent practicable (MEP).

Orange County Third and Fourth Term NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permits

Drainage Area Management Plan

The Drainage Area Management Plan (DAMP) describes the Orange County Stormwater Program, implemented by the County of Orange and cities to comply with their jointly held stormwater permit. It is the principal policy and guidance document for the countywide NPDES Stormwater Program.