State Pollution Discharge Elimination System
The State Pollution Discharge Elimination System, commonly referred to as SPDES (pronounced “speedies”), is a water pollution-prevention program managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Within its’ broad scope, the program addresses stormwater discharges from public municipalities as well as from private construction activity in accordance with requirements set forth in the Federal Clean Water Act.
The SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges is the regulatory document that contains the rules, guidelines, and other management strategies designed to manage and regulate the discharge of stormwater. When granted, an MS4 Permit authorizes a designated municipality, in this case the City of Saratoga Springs, to discharge stormwater to waters of New York State as long as specific conditions are met. In similar fashion, the Construction Permit defines the conditions by which building projects of specific size are required to prevent stormwater pollution and manage stormwater runoff.
The General Permits are the basis for much of the City’s Stormwater Management Plan and are well worth review in order to fully understand their objectives and goals.