the effectiveness and longevity of many SCMs, thereby contributing to uncertainty in their performance. Second, the requirements for monitoring vary depending on the regulating entity and the type of activity. For example, a subset of industrial facilities must conduct “benchmark monitoring” and the results often exceed the values established by EPA or the states, but it is unclear whether these exceedances provide useful indicators of potential water quality problems. Finally, state and local stormwater programs are plagued by a lack of resources to review stormwater pollution prevention plans and conduct regular compliance inspections. For all these reasons, the stormwater program has suffered from poor accountability and uncertain effectiveness at improving the quality of the nation’s waters.
In light of these challenges, EPA requested the advice of the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board on the federal stormwater program, considering all entities regulated under the program (i.e., municipal, industrial, and construction). The following statement of task guided the work of the committee:
Clarify the mechanisms by which pollutants in stormwater discharges affect ambient water quality criteria and define the elements of a “protocol” to link pollutants in stormwater discharges to ambient water quality criteria.
Consider how useful monitoring is for both determining the potential of a discharge to contribute to a water quality standards violation and for determining the adequacy of stormwater pollution prevention plans. What specific parameters should be monitored and when and where? What effluent limits and benchmarks are needed to ensure that the discharge does not cause or contribute to a water quality standards violation?
Assess and evaluate the relationship between different levels of stormwater pollution prevention plan implementation and in-stream water quality, considering a broad suite of SCMs.
Make recommendations for how to best stipulate provisions in stormwater permits to ensure that discharges will not cause or contribute to exceedances of water quality standards. This should be done in the context of general permits. As a part of this task, the committee will consider currently available information on permit and program compliance.
Assess the design of the stormwater permitting program implemented under the CWA.
Chapter 2 of this report presents the regulatory history of stormwater control in the United States, focusing on relevant portions of the CWA and the federal and state regulations that have been created to implement the Act. Chapter 3 reviews the scientific aspects of stormwater, including sources of pollutants in stormwater, how stormwater moves across the land surface, and its impacts on receiving waters. Chapter 4 evaluates the current industrial and MS4 monitoring requirements, and it considers the multitude of models available for linking stormwater discharges to ambient water quality. Chapter 5 considers the vast