The City of Huntsville has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within this jurisdiction. The City of Huntsville is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Huntsville will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Huntsville, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Huntsville has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.
Natural Resources coordinates activities by the City of Huntsville designed to ensure compliance with State and Federal storm water quality requirements for medium sized municipalities. These requirements include development and implementation of a comprehensive municipal storm water management program plan, as well as requirements for monitoring storm water quality.
In addition to assembling information gathered by other City Departments to satisfy reporting requirements, Natural Resources conducts industrial inspections and investigates discharges of pollutants to the storm sewer system.
Surface water quality investigations are also performed by Natural Resources in support of the storm water quality program.
The Storm Water Phase I Final Rule issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1990 requires coverage of all operators of “medium” and “large” MS4s serving populations of 100,000 or greater. The Phase I NPDES Permit ALS000005 for storm water discharges from the Huntsville Area Medium MS4 was issued to the City of Huntsville, the City of Madison, and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) with an effective date of October 1, 2001. The five‐year permit expired on September 30, 2006 and permit coverage was administratively extended. NPDES Permit ALS000005 covered all areas within the corporate boundaries of the City of Huntsville and the City of Madison. From 2001 to 2013, the City of Huntsville, the City of Madison, and ALDOT operated as co-permittees under the joint MS4 Permit. In April of 2013, ALDOT was issued a separate Phase I permit and ALDOT’s coverage under the permit with Huntsville and Madison was terminated. In May of 2015, the City of Madison was issued an individual Phase II permit, and Madison’s coverage under ALS000005 was terminated. In 2018, ADEM personnel met with representatives of the City of Huntsville to prepare a reissued Phase I permit to replace the 2001 permit. In June of 2018, the City of Huntsville received a draft of the Phase I permit for reissuance. The draft of reissued permit ALS000005 was filed for public notice on June 29, 2018. Phase I NPDES Permit No. ALS000005 for storm water discharges from the Huntsville MS4 was issued to the City of Huntsville with an effective date of October 1, 2018. The reissued permit replaces the 2001 permit previously issued to the City of Huntsville, and applies to the corporate boundaries of the City of Huntsville. The permit will expire on September 30, 2023. A copy of the reissued Phase I NPDES Permit is included in Appendix B.
Sec. 12-333. - Penalties and injunctions.
(a) A violation of this article shall be punishable as provided in section 1-7.
(b) In addition to all other remedies provided by law, the city shall have the right to injunctive relief for any violation of this article.
(b) The city engineer shall have the authority to issue grading permits as required under this article. Any grading permit exemption authorized by the city engineer under this article shall not be construed as relieving the party responsible for the identified activity from making on-site drainage improvements that may be required or from compliance with the zoning ordinance of the city or any other applicable laws or regulations.
(c) The city engineer shall have the authority to review all building permit applications prior to their issuance by the inspection division to ensure compliance with the provisions of this article. Building permit applications are exempted from review by the city engineer if the structure which is the subject of such application is to be remodeled within its existing walls and no grading is to occur on the site or is a residential dwelling on a single lot within an approved subdivision with an approved grading plan that establishes the stormwater drainage pattern for the site. No building permit, unless exempted as indicated in this article, shall be issued by the inspection division until an application for such building permit has been approved by the city engineer. The exemptions listed in this article shall not be construed as relieving the party responsible for the identified activity from on-site drainage improvements that may be required in accordance with adopted building and construction codes or from compliance with the zoning ordinance of the city or any other applicable laws or regulations.
(d) The city engineer is authorized to enter upon the premises of any land within the city for which a grading or building permit application has been filed to inspect the site before, during and upon conclusion of any land disturbance activity to determine compliance with this article.
(e) In cases where the city engineer is authorized to review building permits prior to issuance or has issued a grading permit, a certificate of occupancy shall not be issued until the city engineer has determined compliance with this article.
(f) The city engineer, or an employee of his department designated by him, is authorized to issue a citation to any person found by him to be in violation of this article, including the stormwater management manual. The citation shall order the person to appear in the municipal court at a date and time certain to answer the charges against him.
(g) The city engineer is authorized to issue a stop work order with regard to any grading or other land disturbance activity that is being done contrary to the provisions of this article or in a dangerous or unsafe manner. Such notice shall be in writing, shall be delivered to the owner of the property, his agent, or the person doing the work, and shall state the conditions under which work may be resumed.
Sec. 12-335. - Stormwater management manual standards.
(a) Development of a site shall conform to the stormwater discharge pattern established in an existing grading plan that includes the site, unless a deviation from such plan is required or allowed by the city engineer in accordance with this article, including the stormwater management manual. Deviations from the established drainage pattern shall require the approval of the city engineer before the issuance of a building permit in accordance with this article, including the stormwater management manual. It shall be a violation of this article for the holder of a building permit or grading permit to fail to follow the established drainage pattern for the site or the approved deviations. The city engineer may withhold approval of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy until either the established drainage pattern or the approved deviations are met.
(b) For construction that includes grading and where there is no grading plan in place that establishes the stormwater discharge pattern for the site, the city engineer may condition the building permit to include requirements designed to carry stormwater discharge to public drainage easements or facilities, or to private drainage easements or facilities that are designed and authorized to accommodate said drainage. The building permit holder shall grade the site to conform to such required conditions. The city engineer may withhold approval of the issuance of a certificate of occupancy until such required conditions have been met.
Huntsville Storm Water Management Program Plan
Huntsville Storm Water Pollution Page
Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control (Volume 1)