Section 11-89C-1

Legislative findings and intent.

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest and the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of this state and within the police power of the state, county, and municipal governments to promote effective and efficient compliance with federal and state laws, rules, regulations, and permits relating to discharges into and from municipal separate storm sewers, and to promote and authorize the discovery, control, and elimination, wherever practicable, of that discharge at the local government level.

(b) It is the intention of the Legislature by passage of this chapter to assist the state in its implementation of the storm water laws, and to supplement the authority of the governing bodies of all counties and municipalities in the state to enable them to implement the storm water laws.

(c) It is further the intention of the Legislature to authorize and promote the intercooperation of the governing bodies in implementing the storm water laws and the purposes of this chapter.

(d) It is further the intention of the Legislature to authorize governing bodies to determine the methods and procedures they shall use to carry out the storm water laws and this chapter, to make their respective participation in a public corporation intercooperation program optional, and to adopt policies and procedures pertaining to their responsibilities in the program and the procedure for entry into and exit from the program. It is the intention of the Legislature to grant the governing bodies, whether in the program or acting individually, the enforcement authority needed in order to satisfy the requirements of storm water laws, further, to act by resolution or ordinance enforceable in their respective municipal courts or the district courts and by civil procedures in district and circuit courts, including fines, penalties, damages, and injunction as authorized and appropriate. It is the intention of the Legislature to grant governing bodies the authority to determine their financial needs to fund the administration, operations, and projects of the program, their individual needs, and the methods to generate and collect the necessary revenue and to authorize the use of the assessment, billing, and collection capabilities and authority of the respective county tax assessors and tax collectors for that purpose. It is the intention of the Legislature that any public corporations created pursuant to this chapter implement an efficient and effective storm water program that promotes the fullest public participation feasible.

(e) It is further the intention of the Legislature to limit the jurisdictional scope of local storm water management programs to include only those sites discharging into the municipal separate storm sewer system and, because this federal initiative is an unfunded mandate, to limit the substantive scope of such local programs to include only those rules, regulations, and aspects that are absolutely required to satisfy the Clean Water Act, as specifically set out in the Code of Federal Regulations. It is the intention of the Legislature to provide a funding mechanism to aid local storm water management programs in meeting the financial obligations imposed by this unfunded federal mandate provided that the expenses of such programs are restrained by the strict limitations on the scope of the programs to include only those rules, regulations, and aspects that are absolutely required to satisfy the Clean Water Act, as specifically set out in the Code of Federal Regulations.

(f) It is further the intention of the Legislature for an individual governing body or public corporation to primarily rely upon ADEM, to the fullest extent allowed by applicable state and federal laws, for the permitting and enforcement of all ADEM NPDES sites rather than subjecting such sites to double regulation.

(Acts 1995, No. 95-775, p. 1835, §1; Act 2014-439, p. 1625, §1.)