PDES Phase I and II stormwater permitting programs were established under the federal Clean Water Act and delegated to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for implementation. Phase I began in 1990 and applies to NC local governments with populations of more than 100,000. These included larger cities like Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro. Phase II is an expansion of the NPDES Phase I program and addresses stormwater discharge from communities serving less than 100,000 persons. NPDES communities are required to implement six minimum measures: Public Education and Outreach; Public Participation/Involvement; Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination; Construction Site Runoff Control; Post Construction Runoff Control; and Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping.
The Jordan Lake watershed is governed by legislation designed to address and reduce nutrient inputs to the Lake watershed from both existing and future developments. Jordan Lake is one of the State’s biggest tourist attractions. It also serves as a municipal drinking water source for Cary, Pittsboro and other municipalities in central North Carolina. The Jordan Lake Rules are precedent-setting legislation that changes the policy landscape for land use and development in North Carolina. While many of the rules are met through NPDES Phase II requirements, the Jordan Lake Rules require municipalities and Counties in the watershed to adopt additional measures to reduce nutrient inputs to the lake. These include specific nitrogen and phosphorus reductions, agriculture rules, more stringent requirements for new and existing developments and more substantial buffer zones.