Air and water quality
We oversee environmental programs and permitting for
Northern Arizona University.
Read through the university’s 2009 Water Damage Restoration Guideline or learn more about the Storm Water Management
Storm Water Management Program (SWMP)
The purpose of the Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) is
to comply with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) general
permit (AZG2202-002) for the discharge of storm water from the Municipal
Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) of the Northern Arizona University
In December 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) finalized a rule that requires certain small municipal separate storm
sewer systems (MS4s) to participate in the National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES) program and obtain a storm water permit. The intent
of this rule is to reduce pollutants in storm water runoff through actions
implemented by the operators of MS4s , such as the system operated by Northern
Arizona University. Northern Arizona University is one of a number of Arizona
non-municipal entities required to obtain a permit.
Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is
the permitting authority for the State of Arizona through the Arizona Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The ADEQ has created a General Permit
that requires regulated communities to comply with six required Minimum Control
- public education and outreach
- public involvement/participation
- illicit discharge detection and elimination
- construction site runoff control
- post-construction site runoff control
- pollution prevention/good housekeeping
Each MCM has mandatory components that Northern Arizona
University must address and that will be satisfied by implementing a number of
Best Management Practices (BMPs).
Storm water discharges associated with construction sites
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all
construction sites over five acres in size to secure a storm water discharge
The permit also requires that a Storm Water Pollution
Prevention Plan (SWPPP) be complete and ready to implement at the time the work
is to begin at the site. The EPA provides more information about NPDES storm
water permits on the Office of Wastewater Management site.
Storm water permits for construction sites
The EPA regulates storm water discharges from construction
sites, including clearing, grading, and excavation activities. Construction
activities may include:
- road building
- construction of residential houses
- office buildings
- industrial buildings
- demolition activity
If a construction activity is undertaken at an industrial
facility that already holds a permit for industrial storm water discharges, a
separate permit must be obtained for the construction activity. The EPA general
permit for storm water discharges from construction activities requires the
submittal of a Notice of Intent (NOI) at least two days before the start of
The EPA allows the construction site operator(s) to file a
Notice of Termination (NOT) which certifies that specific activities in the
SWPPP have ended and that one of the following conditions is true:
- Final stabilization is complete, and temporary
erosion and sediment controls have been removed.
- All discharges from the construction area have
- The operator has changed, and the new operator
is responsible for compliance. (The new operator is responsible for submitting
an NOT if activities continue.)
The EPA provides more information about NPDES storm water
permits on their Office of Wastewater Management site.
Storm water pollution prevention plans for construction sites
A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) must be
developed for each construction site covered by an NPDES storm water discharge
permit. The SWPPP shall include, at a minimum, the following items:
- site description of appropriate pollution
- maintenance schedule
The SWPPP should be retained on site by the discharger.
Federal, state, and local regulatory agencies have the authority to review the
SWPPP at any time.
What can I do?
Simple things can be done at home, as well as while you are
on campus, to participate in pollution prevention.
Dispose of hazardous waste properly
Be careful how you dispose of items in your home. Many things
like batteries, cleaners, solvents, and many things you might not think of are
hazardous and should be disposed of properly to avoid contaminating our water
This is always important and means more than just
conservation. Flowing water picks up an array of contaminants from your
streets, sidewalks, and driveways. When watering your yard, make sure that you
apply just enough water without allowing excess water to flow down the driveway
or into the street.
Limit pesticide and herbicide use
If you must use household and garden chemicals, do so
sparingly, and carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions, especially
concerning the correct amounts for application.
Properly dispose of pet waste
Excessive bacteria can cause blooms of harmful algae.
Cleaning up after your pet reduces the introduction of harmful bacteria into
the water system.
Report illegal dumping
If you see someone improperly disposing of hazardous
materials, or an illegal dumpsite, report it to us, the Office of Regulatory