Illicit Discharge Elimination Program
A major focus of the Water Quality Management Division (WQMD) is the elimination of illegal discharges to Wayne County surface waters from illicit connections, illegal dumping, and lack of awareness. The WQMD Illicit Discharge Elimination Program (IDEP) directly results in the annual removal of significant quantities of raw sewage and other pollution which pose a threat to both human and aquatic life.
The Problem/Need For The Program
The Federal Clean Water Act was amended in 1987 to include municipal and other urban storm water discharges on the list of regulated sources of water pollution. In November 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water regulations, which affects virtually all communities in southeast Michigan, including Wayne County.
One of the requirements of the federal Phase II NPDES storm water regulations and the MDEQ General Permit is to develop, implement, and enforce a program to eliminate improper connections to the storm sewer system and other improper discharges to surface waters. Within a given geographic area, multiple agencies (e.g., county, local unit of government, transportation agencies, etc.) typically have obligations and authority to manage storm water. An effective storm water management program, and particularly illicit discharge elimination efforts, requires a partnership between the County, local government, and other agencies that own, operate, or control storm water discharges within a given geographic area.
Over 150 communities and agencies in southeast Michigan, including Wayne County, have received coverage under the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Storm Water General Permit and have an illicit discharge elimination program as required by the program.