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Baseline general permit: The first general permitting option available to regulated industrial facilities
and large construction activities. EPA issued the construction baseline general permit on 9/9/92 (57 FR 41176) and the industrial
baseline general permit on 9/25/92 (57 FR 44412). The construction baseline general permit has been replaced by the Construction General
Permit, issued on 2/17/98 (63 FR 7857). The industrial baseline general permit has largely been replaced by the Multi-Sector General
Permit, issued on 9/25/95 (60 FR 50804).|
BAT: Best available technology economically achievable (applies to non-conventional and toxic pollutants)
BCT: Best conventional pollutant control technology (applies to conventional pollutants)
Biofilter: Dense vegetation designed to filter storm water runoff as it passes through
BMP: (Best management practice). Activities or structural improvements that help reduce the quantity and improve the quality
of storm water runoff. BMPs include treatment requirements, operating procedures, and practices to control site runoff, spillage or leaks,
sludge or waste disposal, or drainage from raw material storage.
Buffer Strip or Buffer Zone: Strip of grass or other erosion-resistant vegetation located between a waterway and an area
of more intensive land use
Catch basin An entryway to the storm drain system, usually located at a street comer
Category (XI) facilities Specific facilities classified as light industry with
equipment or materials exposed to storm water
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
Clean Water Act Legislation that provides statutory authority for the NPDES program; Public law 92-500; 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.
Also known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA) The Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program (Section 6217) addresses
nonpoint pollution problems in coastal waters. Section 6217 requires the 29 states and territories with approved Coastal Zone Management
Programs to develop Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Programs. In its program, a state or territory describes how it will implement
nonpoint source pollution controls, known as management measures, that conform with those described in Guidance Specifying Management
Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters (available at http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/MMGI/). This program is
administered jointly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Code of Federal Regulations The compilation of federal regulations. Each area of regulation is contained in a separate volume
(e.g., environmental regulations are compiled in volume 40, or 40 CFR). Each volume contains up to several hundred parts.
Conduit Any channel or pipe used to transport flowing water
Conveyance The process of water moving from one place to another
CSO Combined sewer overflow
Culvert A short, closed (covered) conduit that passes storm water runoff under an embankment, usually a roadway. A rectangular
or square concrete culvert is referred to as a box culvert.
Detention A storm water system that delays the downstream progress of
storm water runoff in a controlled manner, typically by using
temporary storage areas and a metered outlet device
Dike Also levee; an embankment used to confine or control water. Dikes are often built along the banks of a river to prevent overflow.
Discharge The volume of water (and suspended sediment if surface water) that passes a given location within a given period of time
Drain inlet insert A device (tray, bag, or basket) installed in a drain inlet or catch basin to treat
storm water runoff
Erosion Removal of soil particles by wind and water. Often the eroded debris (silt or sediment) becomes a pollutant via
runoff. Erosion occurs naturally but can be intensified by human activities such as farming, development, road-building, and timber harvesting.
Excavation The process of removing earth, stone, or other materials from land
Flood A temporary rise in flow or stage of any watercourse or storm water conveyance system that results in
storm water runoff
exceeding its normal flow boundaries and inundating adjacent, normally dry areas
Flood control The specific regulations and practices that reduce or prevent the damage caused by
storm water runoff
General permit A permit issued under the NPDES program to cover a certain class or category of
storm water discharges. These
permits reduce the administrative burden of permitting storm water discharges.
Grading The cutting and/or filling of the land surface to a desired slope or elevation
Holding pond A pond or reservoir, usually made of earth, built to store polluted runoff for a limited time
Illicit connection Any discharge to a municipal separate storm sewer that is not composed entirely of
storm water and is not
authorized by an NPDES permit, with some exceptions (e.g., discharges due to fire-fighting activities)
IECA International Erosion Control Association
Impermeable material A soil or material whose properties prevent movement of water through the material
Impervious surface Hard ground cover that prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil and increases runoff,
asphalt, concrete, rooftops
Industrial activity Any activity directly related to manufacturing, processing, or raw materials storage areas at an industrial plant
Infiltration The portion of rainfall or surface runoff that moves downward into the subsurface rock and soil
Large municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) An MS4 located in an incorporated place or county with a population of
250,000 or more, as determined by the 1990 U.S. Census
Light manufacturing facilities Described under Category (XI) of the definition of "storm
water discharges associated with
industrial activity" [40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(XI)]. Under the Phase I NPDES program, these facilities were eligible for exemption
from storm water permitting requirements if certain areas and activities were not exposed to
storm water. As a result of the
Phase II Final Rule, these facilities must now certify to a condition of no exposure.
Maximum extent practicable (MEP) standard for water quality that applies to all MS4 operators regulated under the
NPDES program. Since no precise definition of MEP exists, it allows for maximum flexibility on the part of MS4 operators as
they develop and implement their programs.
Media filter A filter containing sand, compost, sand peat, or perlite and zeolite designed to filter constituents (particulates,
oil, bacteria, or dissolved metals) out of storm water runoff as it passes through the filter
Medium municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) MS4 located in an incorporated place or county with a population of 100,000 or
more but less than 250,000, as determined by the 1990 U.S. Census
MEP Maximum extent practicable
A publicly owned conveyance or system of conveyances that discharges to waters of the US and is designed or used for collecting or
conveying storm water, is not a combined sewer, and is not part of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW)
Multisector general permit (MSGP) An NPDES permit that regulates storm
water discharges from 11 categories of industrial activities
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Two-phased surface water quality program authorized by Congress as part of the
1987 Clean Water Act
"No exposure" Protection of all industrial materials or activities by a storm-resistant shelter to prevent exposure to rain, snow,
snowmelt, and/or runoff.
Non-delegated state Any state that does not have the authority to implement the NPDES
storm water program
Nonpoint-source pollutants Pollutants from many diffuse sources. Nonpoint-source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt
moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally
depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even underground sources of drinking water.
Notice of Intent (NOI) An application to notify the permitting authority of a
facility's intention to be covered by a general
permit; exempts a facility from having to submit an individual or group application
NPDES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, the two-phased surface water quality program authorized by Congress as
part of the 1987 Clean Water Act
Outfall The point where wastewater or drainage discharges from a sewer pipe, ditch, or other conveyance to a receiving body of water
Permitting authority the NPDES-authorized state agency or EPA regional office that administers the NPDES program, issuing permits,
providing compliance assistance, conducting inspections, and enforcing the program
Physically interconnected MS4 One MS4 connected to a second MS4 in such a way that allows direct discharges into the second system
Point-source pollutants Pollutants from a single, identifiable source such as a factory or refinery; also called single-point-source pollution
Pollutant loading The total quantity of pollutants in storm water runoff
Sanitary sewer A system of underground pipes that carries sanitary waste or process wastewater to a treatment plant
Sediment Soil, sand, and minerals washed from land into water, usually after rain. Sediment can destroy fish-nesting areas,
clog animal habitats, and cloud waters so that sunlight does not reach aquatic plants.
Sheet flow The portion of precipitation that moves initially as overland flow in very shallow depths before eventually
reaching a stream channel
Site runoff Any drainage or flood discharge that is released from a specified area
Storm drain An opening leading to an underground pipe or open ditch for carrying surface runoff, separate from the sanitary
sewer or wastewater system
Storm surge An increase in water level above the normal water level on the open coast due to the action of wind stress and
atmospheric pressure on the sea surface
Storm water Precipitation that accumulates in natural and/or constructed storage and
storm water systems during and immediately
following a storm event
Storm water management Functions associated with planning, designing,
constructing, maintaining, financing, and regulating the facilities (both
constructed and natural) that collect, store, control, and/or convey storm water
Storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) A plan to describe a process though which a facility thoroughly evaluates potential
pollutant sources at a site and selects and implements appropriate measures designed to prevent or control the discharge of pollutants
in storm water runoff
Storm water utility Special assessment district set up to generate a stable source of funding for
storm water management within
a region, usually through user fees
Surface runoff The portion of rainfall that moves over the ground toward a lower elevation and does not infiltrate the soil
Surface water that remains on the surface of the ground, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, streams, wetlands, impoundments,
seas, and estuaries Urbanized area A Bureau of the Census determination of a central place (or places) and the adjacent
densely settled surrounding territory that together have a minimum residential population of 50,000 people and a minimum average
density of 1,000 people/mi.2.
Urban runoff, Storm water from urban areas, which tends to contain heavy concentrations of pollutants from urban activities.
Watershed Geographical area that drains to a specified point on a water course, usually a confluence of streams or rivers. Also
known as drainage area, catchment, or river basin. (In the UK the term "watershed" refers to what in the US is called the
drainage divide, and the term "catchment" refers to what in the US is called a watershed.)
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