Please submit your name and email to access this content

    County of Bernalillo

    EPA Regulation of Stormwater in Bernalillo County

    "These programs regulate the stormwater discharges of Bernalillo County as part of Phase II regulations issued in 1999. These regulations require that small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) apply for permits.

    New Mexico is one of four states that do not have authorization to issue permits under the Clean Water Act, including also Idaho, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This means that the Federal agency, EPA, issues permits directly to local governments (cities and counties) and to New Mexico businesses and construction sites.

    While new stormwater regulations have not yet been formally proposed or codified, EPA has incorporated many new features into the Watershed General Permit for the Middle Rio Grande. This Watershed General Permit was proposed on Feb. 12, 2013."

    Bernalillo County's Stormwater Program

    "Bernalillo County is required to obtain permits to allow discharges to the Rio Grande. In anticipation of permit issuance, Bernalillo County first created a Stormwater Quality Management Plan, and submitted this plan to EPA in March of 2003.

    Once the general permit was published in 2007, Bernalillo County Public Works Division revised the original plan and submitted a revised Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) with a formal permit application on April 1, 2007. The first general permit for small MS4s in New Mexico was issued by EPA and became effective on July 1, 2007. Bernalillo County's 2007 permit application and SWMP were approved without modification on May 11, 2011."

    Stormwater Quality Ordinance

    The Bernalillo County Code, Chapter 38 (commonly referred to as the Drainage Ordinance or “Floods”) addresses storm drainage and storm runoff and provides standards for the design of storm water control facilities. However, the Drainage Ordinance does not address stormwater quality. The County’s NPDES Permit (or MS4 Permit) issued by EPA Region 6 on December 22, 2014 specifies that the County must perform certain actions, develop processes and procedures, and in some cases develop ordinances to ensure regulatory controls to provide stormwater quality protection and improvement. Specifically, stormwater quality control measures for Construction, Post Construction, and Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (or IDDE) require the development of an ordinance(s) or other regulatory mechanism(s) per the MS4 Permit."

    Bernalillo County Code of Ordinances Chapter 38 Floods, Article IV Stormwater Quality

    Sec. 38-409. - Inspections.

    1. The provisions of article III section 38-174 apply to this article.
    2. Within the scope of this article, the county engineer is hereby authorized to make such inspections, surveys and investigations of buildings, lots, premises, and establishments, together with their operations, as are necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this article.

    (c) In the event a recognized or observable spill, release, illicit discharge, illegal dumping, or illegal disposal, in the opinion of the county engineer or stormwater compliance manager, constitutes an imminent threat to the waters of the US or its tributaries, to the MS4, to the environment generally, or to the public health or public safety, immediate entry to the property, under the direction of fire or law enforcement officials or state environmental officials, is authorized for the purposes of stabilizing, containing, neutralizing, or otherwise removing the imminent threat. The costs of such remedies may be addressed per the provisions of article III section 38-143 and imposed against the responsible party and/or the property owner.

    (d) Subject to the provisions above, no person having charge, care or control of any building or premises shall fail or neglect, after proper request or identification is made, to promptly permit entry therein by the county engineer or other authorized county or state official or enforcement or inspection personnel for the purpose of inspection, investigation, or emergency response pursuant to this article or other laws relating to stormwater quality.

    (Ord. No. 2017-8, 4-25-17)

    Sec. 38-414. - Post-construction phase stormwater quality protection.

    (d) Post-construction inspection and maintenance.

    1. Private stormwater facilities shall be maintained by the facility or property owner to standards established by the county engineer, published in the Development Process Manual, and/or in related county rules.
    2. Periodic inspection and certification of private facilities by a state professional engineer or otherwise qualified stormwater person (as determined by the county engineer) are required of the facility/property owner and shall occur no less frequently than once every three years from the date of final construction inspection.
    1. Because of the reliance on off-site public facilities, an annual inspection applies rather than the three-year inspection schedule for private facilities specified for post-construction inspection and maintenance.
    2. The responsibility and cost for the inspection is the responsibility of the private facility owner and/or property owner. The owner and property owner of each structural BMP shall keep records of inspections, maintenance, and repairs for at least five years from the date of creation of the record, whether the inspection schedule is annual or every three years.

    (3) Documentation of the inspection, maintenance activities, and repairs shall be provided to the county engineer upon request and once presented shall be maintained electronically as part of the county's permit tracking system. Copies of the inspection reports shall be kept on file at the subject property/facility or at the offices of the property owner and/or manager, and shall be made available within two working days of an inspection request (whether verbal or written). A facility or BMP that cannot be certified or for which records cannot be provided in a timely manner shall be certified by current inspection and/or deficiencies corrected within 90 days of notice from the county that such correction or inspection is needed unless a more immediate action is deemed necessary by the county engineer.

    (4) All on-site post-construction BMPs or alternate compliance methods and techniques are subject to random inspections by the county engineer per the inspection provisions of section 38-409.

    (5) Inspections and inspection programs by the county may be conducted or established on any reasonable basis, including but not limited to routine inspections; random inspections; inspections based upon complaints or other notice of possible violations; and joint inspections with other agencies inspecting under environmental or safety laws. Inspections may include, but are not limited to: reviewing maintenance and repair records; sampling discharges of surface water, groundwater, and material or water in BMPs; and evaluating the condition of BMPs.

    (6) Enforcement provisions will apply per section 38-402 of this article.

    (Ord. No. 2017-8, 4-25-17)


    County Stormwater Page

    County Ordinances

    Public Works and Stormwater

    Post-Construction Storm Water Management