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    City of Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Storm Water Quality Program

    “Protection of our river and improving our storm water quality is of paramount interest and a priority to the City of Albuquerque and the citizens that we serve. As a result the City has applied for and received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a Phase I Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. It is through the MS4 permit that the City monitors the quality of the City’s storm water runoff to the Rio Grande.”

    Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit

    “Protection of the Rio Grande and improving our storm water quality is of paramount importance to the City of Albuquerque and a priority for the citizens that we serve. As a result the City has applied for and received a Watershed Based Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit.

    The City of Albuquerque and its co-permittees are currently regulated by Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) through the Watershed Based MS4 Permit. The City and its co-permitees received their first permit in 2003. The first five-year permit expired at the end of November 2008, the second MS4 permit and was replaced by the Watershed Based MS4 Permit in December 2014.

    Under the new permit there are fourteen (14) co-permitees. The EPA believes that a WBP permit approach is more beneficial when it comes to enhancing the water quality in the Middle Rio Grande Watershed.” Maintenance and Inspections

    "Permittees are required to include maintenance activities, maintenance schedules, and schedules (e.g., stormwater drainage system maintenance and street sweeping) to be available upon request.

    The frequency of inspections for facilities covered by the MSGP or Good Housekeeping SWPPs if facility specific and specified in each SWPPP. These inspections cover structural and non-structural stormwater controls for MS4 owned facilities. All City Employees conducting inspections will have a minimum credential of “qualified inspector.” The COA consider a “qualified inspector” to be knowledgeable in the principles and practices of erosion and sediment controls and pollution prevention, and to possess the skills to assess: conditions within the MS4 that could impact stormwater quality; and the effectiveness of any stormwater controls selected and installed to meet the requirements of the Permit. Members of the Stormwater Team that conduct inspections are qualified inspectors."

    Excerpt from Code of Ordinances Chapter 6, Article 11 Stormwater Quality


    (A)   Compliance Monitoring Methods. At any facility that discharges stormwater to the MS4, the stormwater engineer is authorized to execute the following methods, or any other reasonable methods, to enforce compliance with this stormwater ordinance:

    (1)   Install, or to require the installation of, such devices as are necessary to conduct sampling or metering of the discharger's operations at the expense of the City;

    (2)   Require any facility that is reasonably determined to have discharged a pollutant or any substance that causes, continues to cause, or will cause pollution, to conduct specified sampling, testing, analysis, and other monitoring of its stormwater discharges. The stormwater engineer may specify the frequency and parameters or any required sampling or monitoring;

    (3)   Require any facility that has been found to have violated this ordinance to install monitoring equipment as necessary at the discharger's expense. The discharger, at its own expense, shall at all times maintain the facility's sampling and monitoring equipment in a safe and operating condition. Each device used to measure storm water flow and quality must be calibrated regularly to ensure accuracy;

    (4)   Require monitoring of non-storm water discharges if the stormwater engineer reasonably believes that such discharges violate the city's MS4 permit requirements;

    (5)   Upon request of the stormwater engineer, a facility shall submit in writing the results of any sampling or monitoring undertaken pursuant to the requirements of this article;

    (6)   Facility owners or operators shall maintain the results of any monitoring and any supporting documentation undertaken pursuant to this ordinance for three years; or

    (7)   All monitoring required by this ordinance must be performed in accordance with the established methodologies and protocols of the EPA or New Mexico Environmental Department.

    (Ord. 2016-016)


    (A)   Enforcement.

    (1)   The stormwater engineer or any city police officer is hereby authorized to undertake the enforcement activities authorized by this section.

    (2)   The city may issue a Notice of Violation to any person who violates any provision of this article.  The violator may be given an opportunity to respond to the Notice and propose corrective actions in a reasonable amount of time as determined by the stormwater engineer.

    (B)   Penalties.

    (1)   Criminal Penalties. Any person who violates any provision of this article is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500 and up to 30 days in jail for each violation. Each day in which any violation shall occur shall constitute a separate offense.  Prosecution or conviction under this section shall not preclude any civil remedy or relief for a violation of this article. Once cited for an offense, an additional citation may be issued for each day the violation continues unless the violator has entered into an agreement with the city for mitigation, correction, and any other necessary action and is acting in conformity with the agreement and the schedule in the agreement.

    (2)   Civil Penalties.  In addition to or instead of criminal prosecution, where applicable, the city acting through the City Attorney, is hereby authorized to file an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to:

    (a)   Enjoin any person from violating or threatening to violate the terms, conditions and restrictions of this article;

    (b)   Enjoin the violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this ordinance;

    (c)   Recover civil penalties for violation of the terms, conditions and restrictions of this article;

    (d)   Recover civil penalties for violation of the provisions of this ordinance; or

    (e)   Recover damages from the owner of a parcel in an amount adequate for the city to undertake any construction remediation, cleanup, or other activity necessary to bring about compliance with this chapter. In addition to judicial remedies, such damages are recoverable through the imposition of a municipal lien on the parcel under NMSA 1978, §§ 3-36-1 to 3-36-5.

    (C)   The city, acting through the City Attorney, is hereby authorized to enter into agreements in lieu of litigation to achieve compliance with the provisions of this article.(D)   The city's authority in § 6-11-8 (A) and (B) is in addition to all provisions of these ordinances relative to the definition of offenses and the provision of penalties for violations of such offenses.

    (Ord. 2016-016)

    Minimum-Control Measures

    “The City's MS4 permit has requirements that fall within six (6) Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) that must be described and implemented in a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). These are:

    1. Public Education and Outreach on Storm Water Impacts: Intended to educate the public of the potential for pollution and the benefits of improving the water quality in the Rio Grande.
    2. Public Involvement/Participation: Intended to identify various opportunities for the public to get involved in improving the water quality in the Rio Grande.
    3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: Program to find and eliminate non-storm water discharges that are sources of pollution that are harmful to the Rio Grande habitat.
    4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control/ Industrial & High Risk Runoff Management: Monitor and minimize the release of pollutants, sediment, trash, and debris from construction sites during construction activities.
    5. Post-Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment including the implementation of Low Impact Development (LID) practices: Implement LID practices in an effort to reduce the amount of storm water runoff that can leave a site and enter the City's storm drainage system.
    6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations: Program to ensure that City facilities storm water controls/Best Management Practices (BMPs) are maintained and inspected on a regular basis. In addition, this program provides training to City employees on the best practices for daily maintenance and operations activities to minimize the introduction of various pollutants into the City's storm drain system.”


    City of Albuquerque Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) 2016

    Albuquerque Code of Ordinance

    MS4 Permit Information

    Albuquerque Stormwater Management Page