What is the state and federal government doing to prevent water pollution?
Recognizing the importance of controlling water pollution, the Federal government authorized the Clean Water Act of 1987, part of which mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prepare a plan to characterize and address non-point source pollution. In response, the EPA developed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permitting program. The program was to be introduced in two phases. Phase I began in 1990 and Phase II in 1999. Phase II of the NPDES stormwater permitting program regulates Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System’s (MS4’s), such as ours in St. Lucie County. A MS4 is a publicly owned conveyance or system of conveyances (i.e. ditches, canals, curbs, catch basins, underground pipes, etc.) that is designed for the discharge of stormwater to surface waters of the state. Cities, counties and drainage districts typically operate MS4’s. In October 2000, EPA authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to implemen