Stormwater Management

NPDES Discharge Permit Public Notice

NPDES Discharge Permit

What is Stormwater? 

Stormwater runoff is created when rain falls on pavement, buildings, and other impervious surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. In developed areas of Clinton County, we limit flooding by moving this runoff from our roads, parking lots, and neighborhoods through storm drains which discharge directly into rivers and streams. Since the discharge from separate storm sewer systems does not get processed at a treatment plant, any contaminant on the ground can "hitch a ride" with runoff and impact our shared surface waters. Pet waste, oil, leaves and dirty water from cleaning your car can enter storm drains and flow downstream where it harms aquatic habitats and makes water unsafe for swimming, canoeing and other water-related activities. The County takes steps to reduce this pollution to improve water quality and to meet State and Federal requirements. 

Per these requirements, the County must apply for a stormwater discharge permit every five years. A large part of that application consists of a description as to how the County will commit to and proceed with the development, implementation, and enforcement of practices to reduce the discharge of pollutants from its municipal separate storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable. This documentation was formally designated as Clinton County’s Stormwater Management Plan, which is located below for public review and input. 

To help facilitate a regional approach to stormwater management, Clinton County is a member of the Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management, a guiding body comprised of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities within the Greater Lansing Region. The committee has been established to guide the implementation of the stormwater program for participating communities within the Grand River, the Red Cedar River and the Looking Glass River watersheds. Visit to learn about upcoming events, find steps you can take to limit water pollution, and to get involved in managing our shared water resources! 

If you have questions or comments regarding the County’s stormwater management plan, please contact Phil Hanses at the Clinton County Drain Commissioner's office. Reach us by email at and by phone at 989-224-5160.


Illicit Discharges 

An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to the municipal separate storm sewer system that is not composed entirely of stormwater, except for discharges allowed under an NPDES permit or waters used for firefighting operations. Many of these non-stormwater discharges occur due to illegal connections to the storm drain system from commercial, residential, and other establishments. 

Illicit discharges and dumping allow contaminated wastewater into our local waterways that does not receive any treatment. Such activities may be intentional, but also may be unknown to the property owner. Some examples of illicit discharges or dumping are failing septic systems, improper disposal of sewage from recreational vehicles, illicit connections of sanitary sewer lines to the storm sewer system, or the cleaning of pool filters, paint brushes, and vehicles in a driveway or street. 

Please help us protect the Looking Glass River and other watersheds by reporting illicit discharges and dumping into Clinton County’s stormwater sewer system. You may call the Clinton County Drain Commissioner’s Office at 989-224-5160 or the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) at 800-292-4706.


Interested in learning about area events and initiatives aimed at protecting our water resources? Check out these publications from the Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management (GLRC) 

Protect our shared water resources by properly disposing motor oil, fertilizers, and other house hold hazardous waste. Visit these links to learn how different materials should be disposed and for a calendar of local waste collection events: 

Want to learn more about how you can protect our waterways at your home, school, or business? Check out these articles, brochures, and flyers and feel free to print and post them at your workplace or classroom. 

GLRC Fact Sheet

Educational Articles

Business and Construction Stormwater Flyers

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