Stormwater pollution is one of the primary causes of water quality problems in Georgia’s waterways, including the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries. Stormwater is generated from rainwater that hits impervious surfaces such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops and flows off into streams. This runoff flows from construction sites, industrial areas and parking lots, picking up pollutants like sediment, chemicals, oils, bacteria and trash that harm our rivers, streams and lakes.
What we do on our landscape and how we control stormwater makes a huge difference in water quality in rivers. Under the authority of the federal Clean Water Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies issue permits to regulate stormwater runoff from a variety of sources including construction sites, industrial operations and other impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots and roofs. Developers, industrial operators and municipalities must apply to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for a permit that reduces pollutants and manages stormwater runoff. Developers, industrial operators and municipalities use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs), to filter out pollutants and prevent pollution by controlling it at its source.
How CRK Makes a Difference
CRK has helped lead efforts by the environmental community to strengthen laws and regulations, improve educational and training programs, and secure enforcement actions against violators of stormwater laws.
- We monitor stormwater discharges from industrial facilities and hold industries that are not complying with clean water laws accountable through our Protecting Streams and Communities from Industrial Pollution (PSCIP) Program.
- We monitor water quality at construction sites and educate the public about construction stormwater laws through our Get the Dirt Out Program.
- In 2013, 2008 and 2003, we helped negotiate the General Permits for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities, strengthening these permits in both instances.
- In 2017, 2012 and 2006, CRK helped negotiate improvements to Georgia’s General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Facilities.
- We participated in drafting Georgia’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems Permits in 2016 and 2017, and successfully advocated for green infrastructure requirements to further reduce stormwater pollution from municipalities.