When it rains or when snow melts, stormwater washes away pollutants that have accumulated on lawns, driveways, roads, highways, and parking lots. These pollutants flow over land into storm drain systems and ditches and eventually into rivers and streams. When left untreated, these pollutants can impair local and downstream water bodies used for swimming, fishing, aquatic life, and drinking water. You can help improve and protect the waters in Carroll County at home and in your municipality by learning more about stormwater pollution and prevention.

What is National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)?

The NPDES permit program, created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act (CWA), helps address water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States.  The program is administered through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  In Maryland, the EPA delegated a portion of its authority to the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE).  The NPDES permit requires jurisdictions to address water quality by performing tasks in the following areas:

  • Education/Outreach:The County and Municipalities must inform citizens about the impact of pollution on water quality through the distribution of educational materials.
  • Public Participation/Involvement:The County and Municipalities must provide opportunities to involve citizens in program implementation and activities such as storm drain stenciling, stream clean-ups, and representative involvement.
  • Illicit Discharge Protection/Elimination:The County and Municipalities must develop and implement a plan to eliminate illicit discharges to the storm drain system, develop a system map of the storm drain network, and inform the community of hazards associated with improper disposal of waste.
  • Construction Site Runoff Control:The County and Municipalities must develop and enforce a pollution control program for construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land by implementing temporary sediment basins, detention ponds, and other stabilization.
  • Post Construction Runoff Control:The County and Municipalities must develop and enforce a program that addresses discharges of post–construction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment areas.
  • Pollution Prevention:The County and Municipalities must develop and implement a program to address pollution from county and municipal operations.
  • Restoration:The County and Municipalities must develop and implement restoration plans for each six of the nine 8-digit watersheds to show actions that will be taken to restore water quality.

Stormwater Pollution Hotline

Please call if you are concerned about the release of pollutants or possible illegal dumping into a storm drain system.

Stormwater in Carroll County and the eight incorporated municipalities is regulated by law under Phase I and Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) permits under EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program administered through the Maryland Department of the Environment.

NPDES Permit

The five-year permit was issued by MDE on December 29, 2014.  The permit term has been administratively extended until MDE issues the next general permit.  Carroll County’s eight municipalities are co-permittees on the permit. 

  • Carroll County and Municipalities NPDES MS4 Phase I Permit

Coordination of permit compliance measures between Carroll County and the municipalities is implemented through the Carroll County Water Resource Coordination Council (WRCC).  A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Carroll County and the municipalities addresses how cost-sharing will take place and the delegation of administrative responsibilities.

Carroll County is required to submit to MDE a report annually that summarizes the compliance efforts taken in response to conditions attached to the permit.  

Watershed Restoration Plans

The permit required watershed restoration plans to be developed for six 8-digit watersheds in Carroll County. These six watersheds included Prettyboy, Liberty, Loch Raven, Lower Monocacy, Upper Monocacy, and Double Pipe Creek.

Stormwater Projects

The permit requires implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to reduce discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with applicable wasteload allocations included developed under EPA-approved total maximum daily loads (TMDLs).

Public Outreach

The permit requires Carroll County to continue to implement a public education and outreach program to reduce stormwater pollutants. Outreach efforts may be integrated with other aspects of the County’s activities.

Carroll Clean Water Partnership

Carroll Clean Water Partnership (CCWP) is a program intended to assist local businesses with identifying and addressing potential pollutants and good housekeeping measures, and, as a result, gain community recognition as a “Partner” for contribution toward achieving clean water in Carroll County’s local streams and watersheds.

For More Information

For additional information about any of these stormwater topics, please call 410-386-2210 or email ccwaters@carrollcountymd.gov