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In October 2000, EPA authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement the NPDES stormwater permitting program. Under the authority set forth in Section 403.0885, Florida Statutes (F.S.), DEP issues permits to municipalities with populations over 100,000 to regulate waste water and stormwater (also referred to as a municipal separate storm sewer system or MS4) treatment facilities. The NPDES stormwater program regulates point source discharges of stormwater into surface waters of the State of Florida from certain municipal, industrial and construction activities. As the NPDES stormwater permitting authority, FDEP is responsible for promulgating rules and issuing permits, managing and reviewing permit applications, auditing annual reports submitted by permittees and performing compliance and enforcement activities. For more information about the NPDES program click here.

This page is intended to provide information to the general public and industry professionals related to the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) MS4 permit for Lee County, Florida.  It contains links to forms and information for professionals engaged in industrial and construction activities in Lee County. There are also links to educational pages for professionals and the general public with definitions, information and guidelines to avoid/reduce discharge of pollutants into our ecosystem.

Permit History

Beginning in 1995, Lee County and 13 co-permittees applied for a municipal separate storm sewer (MS4) permit from the USEPA.  The permit (FLS000035) became effective in 1998 and was renewed by FDEP in 2003. As part of the regular permit renewal and Year 4 Annual Reporting process Lee County submitted a second renewal application to FDEP in 2008.  The second renewal in 2011 (modified in 2013) made Permit (FLS000035-03) effective for Lee County and 21 co-permittees, adding 8 new co-permittees.  Copies of the Lee County Permits are viewable on the "Permits" page.

Permit Requirements

As part of the MS4 Permit, Lee County is required to operate and manage the county stormwater system.  System inventory, inspection and maintenance are required elements in the permit Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP).  Activities in these areas are reported on an annual basis to FDEP however, there are other elements of the SWMP required which have indirect relationships to the physical stormwater management system.  These associated elements include education of county staff, contractors and private citizens in the proper use of best management practices.  This is done through certification classes such as: the Florida Stormwater Erosion and Sediment Control Inspector's Course, dissemination of stormwater educational information at public events, as well as links provided on the NPDES Web page and various workshops and meetings.

In areas of new development and significant redevelopment the county is also required to follow the Lee County Comprehensive Plan.  The NPDES permit and the Comprehensive Plan have compliance/responsibilities overlap.