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Mobile Baykeeper is a nonprofit environmental organization with over 4,000 members -- all with a common interest in preserving and protecting the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay Watershed. Our priorities are clean water, clean air and healthy communities and our motto is Naturally, We’re for Progress. Become a member today for the best possible tomorrow.

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Stormwater Runoff - A Serious Threat to our Waterways

Stormwater runoff, or water that “runs off” of roofs, roads, parking lots and other surfaces when it rains is the number one source of pollution to our waterways.  If you haven’t already noticed, it rains a lot in coastal Alabama, and the City of Mobile does not have an adequate plan in place to manage stormwater.  On December 19, 2012 the Alabama Department of Environmental Management  (ADEM) filed a complaint against the City of Mobile for the City’s failure to carry out the obligations of a consent order for the City’s violations of its stormwater permit.

ADEM is asking the Court to make the existing consent order enforceable; impose a civil penalty for violations of the consent order; order the City to implement consent order requirements (Paragraphs D and E of the Consent Order) related to implementing the City’s Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) as well as provide certification of compliance with the consent order; have the City of Mobile pay court costs and that the Court order any relief necessary to ensure the City’s compliance with the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act.

The original Consent Order was agreed to and finalized on January 5, 2012, over a year ago, by ADEM and the City of Mobile.  Through an audit conducted in June 2011 and review of the fiscal year 2009-2010 annual report, ADEM found the City of Mobile to be in violation of its stormwater permit.  The City had failed to implement an adequate program to enforce controls on development and redevelopment, failed to provide an adequate program of construction site inspections and enforcement, and failed to file the required yearly annual report in 2008-2009 by the deadline. The city was penalized $17,500 and required to provide ADEM with a Storm Water Management Program Improvement Plan no later than 90 days after the effective date of the order, or by April 4 2012. The City was also required to implement the modifications outlined in this plan no later than 180 days after the effective date of the Consent Order, on July 3, 2012.  The City did not implement the SWMP Plan modifications by the required date, and ADEM continued to work with the City through December 2012 to come into compliance with the consent order. 

Stormwater runoff, if not managed properly, causes erosion, flooding and negatively impacts our water quality.  Because of the serious threat to Mobile Bay and our other precious waterways, Mobile Baykeeper has been and continues to be supportive of the enforcement action taken by ADEM against the City of Mobile for the violations of its stormwater permit.  We want to see the City fulfill its obligation to control the flow of pollution into our storm drains and waterways, as required by the Alabama Water Pollution Control Act and the Clean Water Act.