Stormwater Quality Management Committee
Clark County Regional Flood Control District
600 S. Grand Central Pkwy. Las Vegas, NV 89106

Federal & State Regulations


In 1972, Congress amended the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (otherwise known as the Clean Water Act (CWA)) to prohibit the discharge of any pollutant to waters of the United States from a point source unless the discharge is authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The NPDES program is a national permit program designed to regulate point source discharges. Since its introduction, the NPDES permit program is responsible for significant improvements to our Nation's water quality. The NPDES permit program is currently administered by the State of Nevada.

State of Nevada NPDES Permits

As authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.

Stormwater discharge permits are required for certain activities by US EPA regulations at 40 CFR § 122.26(b)(14). In compliance with this regulation, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) issues three baseline general permits.

1. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit - The Clean Water Act of 1987 established requirements for storm water discharges for each state in the US under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System NPDES) program. In response to those requirements, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) issued a permit to the local municipalities and government entities for municipal storm water discharges, commonly referred to as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System or "MS4."

This permits stormwater discharges to conveyances or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, manmade channels, or storm drains) owned by a state, city, town or other public body, that is designed or used for collecting or conveying storm water, which is not a combined sewer, and which is not part of a publicly owned treatment works. Learn more about Clark County's NPDES "MS4" Permit (pdf).

2. NPDES Industrial Permits - Activities that take place at industrial facilities, such as material handling and storage, are often exposed to storm water. The runoff from these activities discharges industrial pollutants into nearby storm sewer systems and water bodies. This may adversely impact water quality.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) requires an industrial facility to obtain an Industrial Stormwater (ISW) Permit, if they are defined as “stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity” under the 11 categories listed in 40 CFR §122.26 (b)(14)(i)-(xi). See the following link Who's Covered for the NDEP website that discusses the 11 categories.

Operators of industrial facilities or sites with activities included in one of these 11 categories must obtain coverage under an NDEP Industrial Stormwater Permit or ISW, unless conditionally excluded; exclusions include: any Mineral Industry Facilities defined within SIC code 10 under Category III of 40 CFR §122.26(b)(14); or Construction activity defined under Category X of 40 CFR §122.26(b)(14). If an industrial facility discharges wastewater associated with industrial activities, then that facility will need an individual discharge permit in addition to their ISW Permit. For more information on Nevada’s Industrial Stormwater Permit requirements, see the following link for the NDEP Bureau of Water Pollution Control website: Permit Application Requirements

3. NPDES Construction Permits - Storm water runoff from construction activities can have a significant impact on water quality, contributing sediment and other pollutants exposed at construction sites. The State of Nevada Storm Water Program requires operators of both large and small construction sites to obtain authorization to discharge storm water under an NPDES construction storm water permit.

The submittal of a Notice of Intent for inclusion under the State of Nevada's General Stormwater Permit and a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) is required for all soil disturbing activities (including grading, trenching, demolition), where one (1) or more acres will be disturbed, and have a discharge of stormwater to a receiving water (e.g., wetlands, creeks, unnamed creeks, rivers, marine waters, ditches, estuaries), and/or storm drains that discharge to a receiving water. Even if you plan on retaining all stormwater on site, but detention facilities need to be constructed to retain the stormwater, permit coverage is required. For more information about construction permits, see the link below:

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