The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) compels the City of Norfolk to protect water quality through requirements outlined in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act). In compliance with these regulations, the NDEQ has issued a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which authorizes MS4 communities to discharge into the receiving waters of the state, as long as the communities meet certain requirements.
To meet these requirements, the City of Norfolk developed a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). This plan consists of six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs), all of which cause the City to incur cost related to staff time, equipment, and materials. Previously, grant funds were available to local communities to assist in compliance with these federal regulations; however, these grants were eliminated in 2018.
Therefore, in an effort to continue to comply with the NPDES permit, the City of Norfolk is considering the implementation of a stormwater fee. The fee would be based on a flat rate for all existing water and/or sewer customers. Residential customers would be charged $1/month, while commercial and industrial customers would be charged $3/month. The proposed fee is scheduled to begin October 1, 2019 pending approval from the City Council.
The City of Norfolk is not alone in our efforts to implement a stormwater fee. The Cities of Scottsbluff, Kearney, Grand Island, and Columbus all have implemented a stormwater financing mechanism similar to what the City of Norfolk is proposing.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the stormwater fee, please contact John Cahill, City of Norfolk Staff Engineer by calling 402-844-2020 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org