NPDES Phase I and II stormwater permitting programs were established under the Clean Water Act and delegated to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for implementation. Phase I began in 1990 and applies to NC local governments with populations of more than 100,000. Phase II is an expansion of the NPDES Phase I program and addresses stormwater discharge from communities serving less than 100,000 persons. NPDES communities are required to follow the six minimum control measures (MCM’s): Public Education and Outreach; Public Participation/Involvement; Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination; Construction Site Runoff Control; Post Construction Runoff Control; and Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping.
The Jordan Lake watershed is a massive regional resource utilized by 10 counties, 27 municipalities, and nearly 700,000 water customers (see Figure below), and is continuing to be more populous every day. As challenges with water quality and water supply increase with growing populations, the need for water resources dialogue that crosses jurisdictional lines becomes more and more imperative. The Jordan Lake Rules are precedent-setting legislation that changes the policy landscape for land use and development in North Carolina. While many of the rules are met through NPDES Phase II requirements, the Jordan Lake Rules require municipalities and Counties in the watershed to adopt additional measures to reduce nutrient inputs to the lake. These include specific nitrogen and phosphorus reductions, agriculture rules, more stringent requirements for new and existing developments and more substantial buffer zones.