NPDES Program

About the Program

The City of La Habra is under the 4th term National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, Order R8-2009-0030 (PDF), which was adopted on May 22, 2009. With the adoption of the new permit, deadlines are set with the municipalities, working with Orange County, to meet various requirements of the permit. The most current adopted permit includes mandates for the implementation of water quality control programs including:

  • Adoption of more restrictive development standards
  • Increased inspections, monitoring, and revision
  • Public education
  • Regulatory requirements for existing and new development

What is NPDES?

The NPDES permitting program was established as a result of the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act, subsequently known as the Clean Water Act. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act prohibits the discharge of any pollutant to navigable waters from a point source unless the discharge is authorized by an NPDES Permit. In 1987, Congress passed a Clean Water Act Amendment, the Water Quality Act, which brought stormwater discharges into the NPDES Program.

Regional Water Quality Control Boards

Cities and counties are regulated through permits issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Boards. Since 1990, operators of large storm drain systems such as the City have been required to:

  • Develop a stormwater management program designed to prevent harmful pollutants from being dumped or washed by storm water runoff, into the storm water system, then discharged into local water bodies
  • Obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit

State Water Resources Control Board

The NPDES permit programs in California are administered by the State Water Resources Control Board and by 9 regional boards that issue NPDES permits and enforce regulations within their respective regions. The City of La Habra lies within the jurisdiction of the Santa Ana Region. The regional board issues permits to the Orange County permittees, which includes the County of Orange, Orange County Flood Control District, and incorporated cities of Orange County. Since the program's inception, the County of Orange has served as the principal permittee.