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					Applicable Storm Water Management Rules

Background

The Unites States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has promulgated rules, commonly
known as the Clean Water Act, to prevent discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United
States. These rules have been amended several times and now include storm water
discharges. The goal of these amendments is to prevent discharges of pollutants during and
after periods of heavy rainfall (storm) events. The University of Houston prohibits the deliberate
discharge of contaminants to the storm sewer and strives to prevent spills from entering the
storm drains on campus.

The University of Houston is not classified as an industrial facility and does not currently have its
own storm water permit. Industrial facilities typically have part of their operations outside and
can be impacted by storm events. However, the EPA also identified certain categories of
industrial activities, including construction, and required that storm water discharges from these
activities were unlawful with out a permit. In addition, local municipal separate storm sewers
(MS4s) that serve populations of 100,000 people were established to locally administer the
permit program. The role of the MS4s is to reduce the discharge of pollutants from construction
activities as much as practical by management practices, control techniques and engineering
methods.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has issued a general permit for
construction activities for MS4s to discharge storm water into surface water. The University
currently follows the storm water management guidelines as set forth in the City of Houston,
Harris County, and Harris County Flood Control District, which is our local MS4. In the future
this may change as more categories of storm water permits are phased in by the EPA and the
University may elect to seek its own storm water permit. Further information about the local
MS4 and downloadable copies of guidance documents can be found on their website located at,

http://www.cleanwaterclearchoice.org/professionals/construction.html


Construction Activities

Construction activities that will disturb more than 1 acre of land are subject to the conditions of
the TCEQ general permit. There are several steps involved in this process and there are
required submissions to the TCEQ and MS4 operator depending upon the size of the project.

This web page contains a flowchart to determine coverage requirements, a Handbook to Aid
with Compliance of Storm Water Management, a map of major storm water outfalls, a project
manager’s checklist, the TCEQ General Permit to Discharge Storm Water from Construction
Sites, and a link the TCEQ storm water website. Please contact the Environmental Health and
Risk Management Department for further assistance.

				
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