Low-impact and Sustainable Development

Low-impact and Sustainable Development

The Stormwater Credit Trading Program is designed to reduce or offset stormwater modeling scenarios related to an MS4 permit application in the City of Grand Rapids. This can provide a company with the opportunity to develop or redevelop a property and maintain compliance with state regulations.

In regulatory compliance with Michigan’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), permit application for discharge of stormwater to surface waters from a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), new and redevelopment projects are required to meet Minimum Post-Construction Stormwater Runoff regulations. Controls for this type of runoff are necessary to maintain or restore stable hydrology in receiving waters by limiting surface runoff rates and volumes as well as reducing pollutant loadings from sites that undergo development or significant redevelopment.

Following its values of Accountability, Collaboration, Customer Service, Equity, Innovation, and Sustainability, the City welcomes creative approaches to stormwater management. Stormwater management has and continues to change. The old way was all about getting it out fast. The new mantra is slow it down, spread it out, and soak it in. The Stormwater Credit Trading Program aligns with all these values and to the new way of doing things.

Stormwater Credit Trading Program

The Stormwater Credit Trading Program is a way for property owners to comply with post-construction stormwater runoff standards, even if their property does not allow them to capture stormwater onsite, by allowing for the selling and purchasing of Stormwater Credits between property owners in the same geographical zone.

By purchasing Stormwater Credits from participating properties who have generated them, properties with limited capacity for infiltration can meet post-construction regulatory obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Stormwater Credit? – Stormwater Credits are based on the volume of stormwater runoff treated by Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI). Each credit is equivalent to 1 cubic foot of GSI retention capacity.
  • Why Purchase Stormwater Credits? – Property owners or developers subject to post-construction stormwater management requirements can meet a portion of their retention requirements by buying these volume-based stormwater “credits”.
  • Why Generate Stormwater Credits? – Selling credits generates revenue while providing benefits to public health and the environment.

Pathways to Compliance

Property owners and developers who are required to meet Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) post-construction stormwater minimums have the following compliance options:

  1. Onsite compliance – If conditions are feasible, implementing Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) onsite is required. Projects may simply achieve regulatory compliance.
  2. Purchase Stormwater Credits – If regulatory compliance using GSI is difficult to implement onsite, purchasing Stormwater Credits may be a path to achieve regulatory compliance.
  3. Payment in lieu of onsite compliance – Property owner of developer of a site where GSI is difficult to achieve pays a fee to the City of Grand Rapids that will be applied to public projects implementing GSI.
  4. Enable offsite mitigation by generating Stormwater Credits – Sites exceeding GSI compliance can generate Stormwater Credits that an eligible development project within the same geographical zone could purchase to achieve regulatory compliance.