Stormwater Regulation History

The Clean Water Act (CWA) was passed in 1972 and established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).  The CWA originally focused on point source discharges but was amended in 1987 to address more diffuse forms of pollution such as stormwater.  On November 19, 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delegated the permitting and enforcement of municipal and industrial wastewater facilities to Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ).  Delegation of stormwater discharges associated with construction and industrial sites, in addition to industrial pretreatment, was received on September 9, 1997.  ODEQ has regulatory authority over stormwater discharges from: industrial activities (OKR05), construction activities (OKR10), municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) (through individual permits and OKR04), and certain facilities such as concrete batch plants (OKG11).

The Central Oklahoma Stormwater Alliance (COSWA) was launched in 2008 as a regional grassroots organization in response to new MS4 permits issued by the ODEQ.  In 2020, COSWA membership pursued and was granted 501(c)(3) non-profit status.  COSWA encourages local residents to conserve water and reduce pollution through the “Every Day Environmentalist” radio ad campaign, promoting the use of rain barrels and composters, and participating in events such as the Oklahoma City Home + Garden Show.

Stormwater-related organizations:

EPA NPDES Stormwater Homepage-This website provides background information about the EPA’s NPDES Stormwater Program as well as the latest information about permits and regulations.

ODEQ Stormwater Permitting-This website provides links for ODEQ’s permits and forms for construction and industrial activities.

Green Country Stormwater Alliance (GCSA)-The GCSA is a regional assistance program for MS4s in eastern Oklahoma.

Squeeze Every Drop-This website is hosted by Oklahoma City’s Utilities Department and provides information about water conservation.