In 2000 the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permitting program in the State of Florida. The program regulates point source discharges of stormwater runoff by small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) of which Clay County is listed in the Federal Register as meeting said requirements.
Under the NPDES stormwater program, operators of large, medium and regulated small MS4s require authorization to discharge pollutants under an NPDES permit. Medium and large MS4 operators are required to submit comprehensive permit applications and are issued individual permits. Regulated small MS4 operators have the option of choosing to be covered by an individual permit, a general permit, or a modification of an existing Phase I MS4's individual permit.
The definition of medium and large MS4s is dependent on the size of the population in the area where the system is located. Generally, a medium MS4 is a system that is located in an area with a population between 100,000 and 249,999; while a large MS4 is a system that is located in an area with a population of 250,000 or more. Please refer to the FDEP website link for specific information.
Water pollution degrades surface waters making them unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants in to waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. In most cases, the NPDES permit program is administered by FDEP.