NPDES Program Permit
As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that certain communities, such as Billerica, must file for a permit under the Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. This permit controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into water systems.
As part of this permit, Billerica is required to create a Stormwater Management Plan that addresses the following Minimum Control Measures (MCMs):
- Public education and outreach
- Public involvement and participation
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site stormwater runoff control
- Post construction stormwater runoff control
- Good housekeeping in municipal operations
Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP)
The Town must implement specific policies and procedures for each MCM to help reduce pollution in local waterbodies. The program also includes requirements to address specific pollutants found in stormwater where waters are not meeting water quality goals or designated uses (e.g., fishable, swimmable) under the Clean Water Act. In Billerica, this means reducing the levels of total phosphorus and bacteria in stormwater runoff.
To comply with program requirements, the Town of Billerica has developed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to request authorization to discharge stormwater. The NOI was submitted to EPA and MassDEP by the October 1, 2018 deadline. It includes information about the Town’s status of compliance with the NPDES stormwater program, a summary of waterbodies within Town that receive stormwater discharges, and best management practices (BMPs) the Town will implement to address the six MCMs. EPA reviewed Billerica’s NOI and granted authorization to discharge stormwater under the NPDES permit program on March 5, 2019. The Town has prepared a draft Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) to summarize Billerica’s plan for compliance with the NPDES stormwater program. The SWMP must be finalized by June 30, 2019.
The SWMP is available online at the link below:
2018 Stormwater Management Plan
Stormwater: Definition & Purpose
Stormwater is the runoff water from rain and snowmelt and has been identified by the EPA as the number one contributor to overland pollution of our streams, ponds, wetlands, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Stormwater pollutants include litter, sand, bacteria, chemicals (such as fertilizer and herbicides from lawns), and oil and gas from cars.
Runoff from paved or impervious surfaces, such as roads, parking lots, driveways and rooftops, can contribute large amounts of polluted stormwater. To prevent flooding, parking lots and streets are often lined with storm drains to quickly move stormwater off the pavement.
Due to the fact that storm drains have underground pipes that channel the stormwater directly to a nearby water body, whatever flows down a storm drain comes out in the closest wetland, stream, or pond, usually with little or no treatment.
Stormwater pollution is one of the most difficult sources of water pollution to control. Because stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere, public awareness of the steps citizens can take to prevent stormwater pollution will help to protect our water resources. By putting fewer pollutants on the land, stormwater will be cleaner as it flows into our lakes, rivers and the ocean.
Clean water is necessary for drinking, swimming, fishing, boating, and for protecting wildlife. It is far less costly to prevent pollution to waterways than it is to clean them up after the fact. Keeping stormwater clean not only benefits our neighborhood and community, it benefits the entire network of water bodies and land that make up our watershed.
With your help and support, and with the support of community efforts, we can make the difference in keeping stormwater clean.
For any questions or comments about the Town of Billerica's Stormwater Management Program, please contact the Department of Public Works Engineering Division at 978-671-1300, or check out the Contact Public Works form. For questions regarding the new stormwater bylaws, please contact Richard Berube, Board of Health Director, at 978-671-0931.