NYSDEC Stormwater Website


The U.S.EPA and NYSDEC are increasing their attention in several ways. There are three State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) general permits required for activities associated stormwater discharges.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System


Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. To protect these resources, communities, construction companies, industries, and others, use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs filter out pollutants and/or prevent pollution by controlling it at its source.

The NPDES stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities. Operators of these sources might be required to obtain an NPDES permit before they can discharge stormwater. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters.

USEPA Green Infrastructure


Born in the wake of elevated concern about environmental pollution, EPA was established on December 2, 1970 to ensure environmental protection.

EPA’s purpose is to ensure that:- all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;- national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;- federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;- environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;- all parts of society — communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments — have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;- environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and- the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.

Save the Rain (Syracuse)


The Save the Rain Program is Onondaga County’s award-winning initiative to improve the water quality of Onondaga Lake and its tributaries.

To date, the County has advanced more than 200 distinct green infrastructure projects on public and private property. Onondaga County is a national model for the implementation of a balanced approach to stormwater management – a combination of smart gray investments with innovative green infrastructure solutions. Onondaga Lake has seen tremendous improvement in water quality and the ecosystem is thriving!

Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater (Penn State University)