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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program (NPDES)

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is designed to reduce adverse impacts to water quality and aquatic habitats by instituting the use of controls on unregulated sources of stormwater runoff into Charlotte Harbor. The permit includes coordination with the Charlotte County School Board, Airport Authority, Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Punta Gorda.

This site provides details related to the NPDES permit for Charlotte County, Florida, and contains important links to forms and information for industrial and general construction activities in Charlotte County. There are also links to educational materials, stormwater terminology, guidelines, and ways all Charlotte County citizens can help reduce the discharge of pollutant-laden stormwater into our environment.

NPDES is an ongoing state-mandated program funded by the Mid, South, and West Charlotte Stormwater Utilities.

What is the NPDES Stormwater Program?

The Clean Water Act of 1972 established the NPDES program for what are now considered "classic-type" point-source discharges. Point-sources include discharges from public and privately owned domestic treatment works (i.e., wastewater treatment plants) as well as discharges from industrial facilities. Since the passage of the Clean Water Act, the quality of our nation’s waters has dramatically improved. Despite this progress, degraded water bodies still exist. According to the 1996 National Water Quality Inventory (a biennial summary of state surveys of water quality), approximately 40 percent of surveyed United States waters are still impaired by pollution and do not meet water quality standards. A leading source of this impairment was found to be polluted stormwater runoff associated with urbanization. The National Urban Runoff Program confirmed these findings.

The 1987 Water Quality Act amendments to the Clean Water Act broadened the definition of point-source to include stormwater discharges. As a result, in 1990 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 122.26. This change in the Act was known as the Phase I NPDES Stormwater Regulations.

Phase I of the NPDES Stormwater Regulations required "medium" and "large" municipalities to obtain permit coverage for their respective regulated small municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). A medium municipality has been defined as any local government with a population greater than 100,000 and less than 250,000. A large municipality is defined as any local government with a population greater than 250,000. Those municipalities with less than 100,000 residents were not regulated under Phase I unless specifically designated by the EPA.

Phase II of the NPDES Stormwater Regulations is the next step in EPA’s efforts to protect and improve our nation’s water resources from polluted stormwater runoff. Phase II is intended to further reduce adverse impacts to water quality by incorporating new thresholds for construction generic permitting, and new MS4 generic permitting for Phase II communities that include urbanized areas. Charlotte County has been designated an MS4 by the EPA.

For more information about the NPDES, please contact the NPDES project manager, Karen Bliss, at

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