National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

Stormwater Planning

Community Solutions for Voluntary Long-Term Stormwater Planning

On October 27, 2016, EPA announced a draft guide, toolkit, and technical assistance to promote comprehensive, community-wide planning approaches to manage stormwater. EPA considers this guide a draft that will be supplemented with an integrated online tool to assist communities in implementing the planning process, piloted through community-based technical assistance efforts, and updated over time with feedback from users.
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Urban stormwater continues to be a significant source of water pollution and public health concern. As communities continue to grow and develop their local economies, they look for sustainable and effective approaches to reduce these existing and emerging sources of pollution.

EPA released a draft guide, Community Solutions for Stormwater Management: A Guide for Voluntary Long-Term Planning, to assist states and local governments in developing and implementing effective long-term stormwater plans.

The document describes how to develop a comprehensive long-term community stormwater plan that integrates stormwater management with communities' broader plans for economic development, infrastructure investment and environmental compliance. Through this approach, communities can prioritize actions related to stormwater management as part of capital improvement plans, integrated plans, master plans or other planning efforts.

Early and effective stormwater planning and management by communities as they develop will provide significant long-term cost savings while supporting resilience, economic growth and quality of life.


EPA is developing a new web-based Stormwater Toolkit to be released at a later date. This toolkit will include technical and financing resources to walk communities through the long-term stormwater planning process provided in the Community Solutions for Stormwater Management guide. The screenshots below provide a preview of the upcoming toolkit.

An example of the landing page design of the Stormwater Toolkit, displaying the three steps and seven elements described in "Community Solutions for Stormwater Management: A Guide for Voluntary Long-Term Planning". The landing page of the Stormwater Toolkit begins to walk users through developing a long-term stormwater plan. It lists the "elements" of the plan that correspond with those found in the Guide.

A yes-or-no questionnaire design example from the Stormwater Toolkit.Users will answer a series of questions to tailor the EPA resources that will be provided to them. 

An example of the design of the "results" page, which features a "Download PDF" button.After completing each set of questions, users will receive a tailored set of EPA resources relating to the elements of the Guide. These resources can be used to develop elements of the plan that the community has not yet completed.

In the meantime, communities may reference EPA's currently available models, tools, and technologies for communities to manage urban stormwater: Green Infrastructure Modeling Toolkit.

Technical Assistance

EPA will provide coordinated technical assistance in five communities to develop long-term stormwater plans to serve as national models:

  • Burlington, Iowa
  • Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Rochester, New Hampshire
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico

EPA will leverage the lessons learned from these efforts by sharing information related to lowering barriers to long-term stormwater planning, making progress on human health and water quality objectives, and decreasing the costs of stormwater management.

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