Federal Phase II stormwater rules require local governments to develop and implement programs to protect water from pollutants carried by stormwater. Local governments subject to these rules must implement 6 minimum measures. Currently (January 2007), 123 North Carolina municipalities are subject to these rules; however, each year new municipalities will be reviewed to determine whether the Phase II rules should apply. The review will be based on growth, contribution to water quality and other factors.
The UNC School of Government's Environmental Finance Center, in cooperation with the League of Municipalities and the Association of County Commissioners, has developed a model local ordinance for the Phase II stormwater regulations as implemented in North Carolina. Local governments will use the model ordinance to develop a post-construction program that best fits their long term growth and fiscal needs, and that complies with the requirements of Phase II stormwater regulations.
The model ordinance gives local governments options for the post-construction component of the Phase II rules, taking into consideration the unique characteristics of Phase II communities, such as geographic, political, budgetary, and staffing resources, as well as existing programs that complement a post-construction program or can serve as elements of such a program. The model ordinance provides a template for the basic requirements of Phase II, and is accompanied by commentary providing context for its various provisions and giving an analytical framework by which each local government may develop a unique and comprehensive program appropriate to its situation while meeting the minimum requirements of the Phase II rules.
The model ordinance was developed in consultation with numerous stakeholders including local government representatives, civil engineers, environmental advocates, the development community, and state Division of Water Quality (DWQ) staff. The sources consulted and considered in formulating the provisions of the model ordinance included federal materials; existing model ordinances from regional, state, and national programs and clearinghouses; existing state and regional programs governing water quality; local ordinances both within and outside of North Carolina; and other technical and regulatory materials. Special attention was given to incenting integrated or innovative approaches to stormwater management (such as watershed-wide planning) wherever possible.
This model ordinance is used as a basis for review of actual ordinances proposed by North Carolina communities subject to Phase II. Actual ordinances can depart from the model, but Division of Water Quality staff will first need to determine whether and how the departures work to implement the post-construction minimum measure.