Stormwater - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II - Stormwater Regulations

For over 10 years, GVMC has been the central point for organizing and promoting coordinated regional participation in NPDES stormwater program requirements for the communities in Kent and Ottawa County that are required to have a stormwater discharge permit.

These communities, within the Lower Grand River Watershed, have formed a cooperative agreement to achieve compliance with the EPA's NPDES Phase II regulations  for controlling stormwater pollution. Since the introduction of the Clean Water Act, our nation's rivers, lakes, and streams have shared a great success and are now fishable and swimmable. However, impairments to these waters still exist despite progress that has been made cleaning up point source pollution discharges. The largest contributor of water pollution today is stormwater runoff, or nonpoint source pollution.

The Clean Water Act was amended in 1987 to include regulation of stormwater pollution from municipal storm sewer systems (MS4). Phase I of this program was promulgated in 1990 and was designed to address stormwater pollution from large metropolitan areas and construction sites larger than five acres. The City of Grand Rapids was included in Phase I. Phase II expands this program to include smaller construction sites and the communities surrounding large metropolitan areas. The communities in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area that are working together to comply with the watershed-based stormwater permit are listed below.

Kent County  - Cascade Charter Township, City of East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills Public Schools, Grand Rapids Charter Township, City of Grand Rapids, City of Grandville, Kent County Drain Commissioner and Administration, Kent County Road Commission, City of Kentwood, Plainfield Charter Township, City of Rockford, Village of Sparta, City of Walker, City of Wyoming

Ottawa County - City of Ferrysburg, Georgetown Charter Township, City of Grand Haven, City of Hudsonville, Ottawa County Water Resources Commissioner and Administration, Ottawa County Road Commission, Village of Spring Lake

This permit structure allowed communities in the Lower Grand River Watershed to comply with NPDES Phase II regulations through a cooperative agreement under the auspices of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) expects to have a revised NPDES permit application for the MS4 communities in the Lower Grand River Watershed available late 2015, with completed applications due April 2016. All of the MS4 communities within the Lower Grand River Watershed have an approved Stormwater Pollution Prevention Initiative (SWPPI). The SWPPIs need to be updated to more fully address water quality issues caused by surface runoff of stormwater to comply with the Stormwater Management Plans (SWMPs) that are required in this revised permit. A grant application was submitted to MDEQ on December 2, 2013, for Stormwater, Asset Management and Waste Water (SAW) funding. Funds were not awarded to GVMC this year, but we will continue to assist communities throughout the permit application process through various committees working on issues ranging from public education to development of a model stormwater ordinance.

Links to More Information

Non-point Source Program Page:,1607,7-135-3313_3682_3714---,00.html
MS4 Program Page:,4561,7-135-3313_3682_3716-24366--,00.html
Watershed Permit (pdf)