New Development Review and Approval
The Stormwater Management Ordinance requires that all new development plans in the City’s ETJ must be reviewed by the stormwater division to ensure that the proposed development meets all applicable local, state and federal environmental regulations. This review process is accomplished through the City’s technical review committee through the Planning and Development Services department.
There are several regulatory programs that are considered when reviewing a proposed new development.
Nutrient Sensitive Waters - Neuse Nitrogen Program
This is a program mandated by the NC Division of Water Quality to reduce the amount of nitrogen discharged into the Neuse River. This program dictates the amount of nitrogen allowed to runoff in stormwater from new development. Often development is limited in the square footage of buildings and pavement or installs treatment devices such as ponds to reduce the nitrogen in the runoff.
During the review process a site plan is also examined for the sites ability to handle the potential “peak flow” of stormwater; meaning the greatest volume of water from a storm event at one time. The purpose of this is to keep new development from increasing flooding downstream. As land becomes more developed, the amount of stormwater that runs off into the streams is greater. By installing peak flow control devices such as a dry pond, the stormwater can be held on site and slowly released over time instead of all at once.
Neuse Riparian Buffer
In 1997 NCDWQ established a set of regulations referred to as the Neuse Riparian Buffer Rules. A riparian buffer is a strip of trees and vegetation along side a stream or body of water that provides pollutant filtration, animal habitat, erosion control, and helps reduce flooding. The buffer rules restrict development within 50’ of any stream or natural body of water within the Neuse River Basin.
Water Supply Watershed
The City of Wilson gets its drinking water from two sources; Wiggins Mill Reservoir and Toisnot Reservoir. A watershed is the entire area in which stormwater flows into a single body of water. It is especially important to keep the waters in these watersheds are clean and free of pollutants. Therefore, special regulations are in place to restrict development and require treatment of stormwater in these areas.
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System is a federal program administered by the EPA and requires that any discharge of pollution, including stormwater, must be permitted. The NCDWQ issues 21 types of general stormwater permits specific to certain industries that typically have raw materials or wastes exposed to stormwater. The City of Wilson Stormwater Division ensures that an industry in these categories has obtained the proper permits for stormwater.