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63 The cost of complying with the EPAâs National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater regulations has changed because of additional monitoring and operation and maintenance (O&M) requirements. Local governments have historically funded stormwater activities through their general funds, but often mainte- nance and improvement budgets are underfunded. To finance the staff and equipment to implement stormwater management plans, many local governments have turned to stormwater fees. The changes to the stormwater regulations have also impacted stormwater manage- ment at airports. Airports are affected by new stormwater regulations that require new infrastructure to be maintained. Also, there are new NPDES permit requirements that require pollution prevention plans, inspections, and monitoring. The NPDES Stormwater Program Congress gives EPA authority to develop and implement federal stormwater regulations, including the NPDES permit program. Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollut- ants to waters of the United States. EPA authorizes the NPDES permit program to many state governments to perform permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the program. At the federal level, the promulgation and implementation of the NPDES Phase II stormwater regulations have resulted in a menu of prescriptive stormwater requirements to improve water quality. The Phase II regulations required municipalities above a certain population to develop and implement a stormwater management plan and a set of ten measures that have increased the cost of stormwater management in many cases. In 2004, a peak expansion occurred in govern- ments incorporating stormwater fees, corresponding to implementation of the Phase II regula- tions. (Regulation coverage for NPDES Phase I and Phase II are summarized in Figure 12.) Applicability to Airports Since 1990, many airports have been subject to NPDES stormwater permit requirements. Airport operations, depending on the activity, may be subject to three of the permits (summa- rized in Table 8) in the NPDES stormwater program: â¢ The industrial stormwater permit, or the âNPDES Permit for Stormwater Discharges Asso- ciated with Industrial Activities,â applies to airport industrial activity defined as servicing, A P P E N D I X A Understanding the Regulatory Context TIP For more information on the history of the NPDES stormwater program, detailed descriptions of each permit, and their applicability to airport operations, please see Section 3.1 of ACRP Report 169: Clean Water Act Requirements for Airports.
64 Strategies for Airports to Reduce Local Stormwater Utility Fees Figure 12. Phases I and II of the NPDES program. Table 8. Applicability of various permitsâadapted from ACRP Research Report 169: Clean Water Act Requirements for Airports. repairing, or maintaining aircraft and ground support equipment; equipment cleaning and maintenance, which includes vehicle and equipment repairs, painting, fueling, and lubrication; and deicing/anti-icing operations. â¢ The construction general permit, or the âNPDES General Permit for Discharges from Construction Activitiesâ (the CGP), applies to construction activity disturbing more than one acre of land at airports. â¢ For MS4 stormwater permits, airports themselves can be permit holders but are often not. As a result, the MS4 operators may impose operation and monitoring conditions from the NPDES permit on a given airport.
Understanding the Regulatory Context 65 Airport Stormwater Management In addition to NPDES requirements, airports must comply with other regulations regarding drainage design, adding complexity to stormwater management at airports. Federal regulations and guidance are summarized in Table 9. The regulatory environment related to drainage design is ever changing and continues to grow in complexity. These requirements help establish an airportâs use of stormwater BMPs. Federal requirements for airports are well documented and include, at a minimum, the regulations and guidelines that follow. State stormwater requirements are also well documented and vary state by state in terms of the treatment and management of airport stormwater. There is significant variability in local requirements, with some municipalities having very specific, and often stringent, requirements in the types of BMPs required to manage stormwater from new impervious areas. State or local stormwater guidance manuals may have useful information regarding specifics to each state. Local Government Roles and Responsibilities Roles and responsibilities regarding stormwater management vary depending on airport ownership and administration and types of activities conducted at the airport. Local govern- ments that operate a municipal airport may have NPDES coverage through an MS4 stormwater permit, the NPDES industrial stormwater permit, or an individual NPDES permit. The local government will fulfill its roles and responsibilities for regulatory compliance depending on the type of permit that covers the municipal airport and on the administrative structure of the municipal airport it operates. In the end, however, if the municipal airport is included in and covered under the MS4 permit, then the permit holder (i.e., the local government) holds end responsibility for the airportâs NPDES compliance. Clean Water Act, Section 404, which prohibits the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into jurisdictional waters of the United States. Clean Water Act, Section 401, which requires a water quality certification ensuring compliance with state water quality standards and other aquatic resource protection requirements. Clean Water Act, Section 402: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which regulate discharged stormwater pollutants into navigable or regulated waters (some airports have individual NPDES permits or are subject to a local municipalityâs NPDES permit if they discharge to a regulated small MS4). Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs), which focus on best management practices to eliminate, prevent, or reduce pollutants in storm water runoff associated with particular airport activities. Additional guidance in the development of a SWPPP can be seen in FAA Advisory Circular 150/5320-15A, Management of Airport Industrial Waste. FAA Advisory Circular 150/5320-5D, Airport Drainage Design, which provides guidance for airports for the design and construction of airport surface storm drainage systems and subsurface drainage systems for paved runways, taxiways, and aprons. FAA Advisory Circular 150/5200-33, Hazardous Wildlife Attractants on or Near Airports, contains guidance on certain land uses that have the potential to attract hazardous wildlife on or near airports that may pose a hazard to aviation safety. The planning, design, construction, and maintenance of airport surface storm drainage and subsurface drainage systems must address the elimination and/or mitigation of drainage features that could attract hazardous wildlife on or around an airport. Part 139 air carrier airports are required to prepare a Wildlife Hazard Assessment to assess any water resources at or near an airport, either surface water or stormwater runoff. Table 9. Federal regulations and guidance for stormwater management at airports.
66 Strategies for Airports to Reduce Local Stormwater Utility Fees Local governments holding MS4 permits that do not own or operate the airport will normally address the airport as it would any landowner that discharges into the MS4 system. Examples of what is often required include stormwater management facilities for new development, erosion control for construction, and inspections of stormwater facilities as âprivate systems.â Many times, the airport owns its infrastructure, such as storm sewer pipes and stormwater facilities, and the local government has no responsibility for repair or maintenance. In addition, stormwater monitoring, tenant or facility inspections, or permit reporting are airport respon- sibilities and usually not taken on by the local government. Airports may act as small quasi- public entities regarding their responsibility for roadways, storm sewers, stormwater system, and NPDES permitting, needing and receiving no services from the jurisdiction in which they reside. However, airports may not receive credits or exceptions for the services that would normally be covered by the MS4 permit holder and are not provided. Airport Roles and Responsibilities Airport roles and responsibilities regarding stormwater management vary depending on the airport ownership and administration and types of activities conducted at the airport. As previously stated, if the municipal airport is covered under the MS4 general permit, then the municipal Phase I or Phase II permit holder (e.g., local government) usually holds ultimate responsibility for the airportâs NPDES compliance. Permit compliance, at times including airport land leaseholders or tenants, is typically the responsibility of the airport authority if the airport is operated by an independent authority. General or individual industrial stormwater permits are typical. Conditions of general permits are developed for and intended to apply to as many members of a regulated group as possible; therefore, the permit conditions tend to be fairly general. General permits for airports cover vehicle or aircraft maintenance, equipment cleaning, or airport deicing operations. Individual permits are tailored to the specific physical characteristics and opera- tional activities at a permitted airport, require a thorough analysis of site-specific conditions, and contain specific requirements based on the airportâs actual operations. This may or may not include tenant operations. However, regardless of tenant operations that may be covered by a general permit, the airport is often responsible for overall permit compliance at the discharge of their storm sewer. In most cases, the airport develops operating agreements and identifies expected BMPs or control measures to manage tenant compliance. As described earlier, the airport often constructs, owns, operates, maintains, and repairs its storm sewer pipes and stormwater facilities, and the local government has no responsibility for repair or maintenance. In addition, stormwater monitoring, tenant or facility inspections, or permit reporting are airport responsibilities. Airports are often required to obtain permits from the local jurisdiction for new construction, and stormwater facilities are usually required to comply with stormwater manuals. At times, these requirements conflict with airport needs to manage wildlife. Washington State Department of Transportation has prepared an airport- specific stormwater manual (located here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/AirportStormwater GuidanceManual.htm). BMPs or other compliance mechanisms that have been identified as effective for specific airport activities have been developed into guidebooks by some airport authorities. These air- port authority guidebooks are intended to provide practical solutions for airport staff and to enforce tenant compliance with stormwater discharge permits at airports. These guidebooks can provide a basic overview of stormwater regulations and practices that can be easily under- stood, example BMPs that could be applied to a variety of airport settings, and types of effective
Understanding the Regulatory Context 67 enforcement mechanisms. Common BMPs that have been found applicable to airport NPDES compliance include â¢ Lease language referencing compliance with stormwater regulations, â¢ Preparation of a stormwater pollution prevention plan by the airport authority with man- datory compliance by tenants, â¢ Inspections of tenant facilities by the airport authority, and â¢ Warnings or fines for noncompliance.