Regulation of Discharges into Storm Sewers and Catch Basins

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

The amendments to Title 15 RCNY Chapter 19 (“Chapter 19”) are intended to add more clarity and specificity to the existing agency regulations in order to avoid confusion, and promote higher rates of compliance.

In addition, section 24-520.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York authorizes the Commissioner to regulate non-stormwater discharges into separate storm sewers. Specifically, the section authorizes DEP to establish “allowable runoff” through rules that are consistent with the City’s State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit and the proper maintenance and purpose of storm sewers.

Accordingly, the amendments are intended to add more clarity and specificity to the existing agency regulations in order to comply with the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on August 1, 2015 pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act. The MS4 Permit requires the City to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff that discharge to the local waterbodies.

Specifically, the amendments clarify that only stormwater and allowable runoff may enter a storm sewer, catch basin or manhole without written approval.

The amendments add §19-13 to allow for and delineate an appeals process for Commissioner’s Orders issued pursuant to sections 24-581 or 24-524(a) of the New York City Administrative Code.

The amendments will make Chapter 19 clearer as well as more detailed and comprehensive, in order to make it easier for the regulated community to determine what needs to be done to attain compliance.

The final rule also contains amendments to 15 RCNY § 19-10(d), which were not included in the proposed rule. This language is being added to clarify and update the description of how inspections will be conducted to enforce the chapter.