Stormwater pollution is a major concern for Suffolk County’s waterbodies. The Suffolk County Stormwater Management Program implements various strategies to mitigate the harmful effects from stormwater discharges and runoff. Components of the program include the identification of stormwater inputs and monitoring, control of stormwater runoff from construction activities, implementation of stormwater improvement projects on roadways, pollution prevention training for County employees, and public education and participation.
The Suffolk County Stormwater Management Program is conducted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County in coordination with the Suffolk County Departments of Public Works and Economic Development and Planning. The continuity of the program is mandated by the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NSYDEC).
In 1990, the EPA established Phase I of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program, as a response to the 1987 Amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA). https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-phase-ii-final-rule-fact-sheet-series.
Under Phase I, NYSDEC implements the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit and required municipalities’ coverage for stormwater discharges from medium and large municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s).
NYSDEC MS4s toolbox: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8695.html
The Phase II Final Rule, released by the EPA in 1999, includes stormwater discharges from regulated small MS4s and construction activity that disturbs between 1 and 5 acres of land and requires MS4s operators to implement programs and practices to control polluted stormwater runoff. In addition, the MS4 permit requires regulated municipal MS4s (those with a minimum population density of 1,000 people per square mile and are located in urban areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau) to develop and fully implement a stormwater management program containing the following minimum control measure categories: Public Education and Outreach; Public Involvement and Participation; Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination; Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control; Post-Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control; and Pollution Prevention for Municipal Employees.
For more information on the Suffolk County Stormwater Management Program visit:
To read the chapter in the Suffolk County Code regarding Stormwater Management visit: