New Orleans Stormwater Program
"The City’s development codes provide standards for addressing stormwater run-off from private developments and limitations on paving to ensure both aesthetic quality in our neighborhoods and a comprehensive approach to water management. These standards are found in several different places within the City's Building Code and Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) and this page is intended to provide a snapshot of those standards. For the full regulations, please follow the links provided to review the text of the Building Code's Stormwater Regulations and CZO .
Additionally, there are a number of other regulations and resources that citizens should be familiar with as plans are made for property improvements. The Department of Safety and Permits serves as the City’s Floodplain Administration, which is responsible for ensuring that development meets or exceeds the elevation standards provided by FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Chapter 78 of the City Code. To find out more about living with water and the City’s Resilience Strategy, you can look through the Office of Resilience and Sustainability’s website.
A number of private organizations also provide information, and in some cases financial support, for reducing the overall amount of paving on private property, which directly helps the City manage rain events and storm water runoff entering the pumping system."
Building Code’s Stormwater Regulations
Ordinance No. 27702, City of New Orleans121- Stormwater
121.1 General. These regulations shall be known as the Stormwater Code of the City of New Orleans.
121.2 Permit Required. NO building, grading, foundation or other land development permits shall be issued until all requirements of this ordinance have been met.
121.3 Intent. The stormwater management requirements established by this section are intended to:
- Assist in the development of a resilient New Orleans by encouraging sustainable practices for site design, construction and maintenance; and
- Reduce urban runoff and mitigate the effect of new development, redevelopment, or infill development on the existing drainage system by ensuring the preservation of permeable surfaces and requiring the installation of stormwater BMPs to slow surface flow of stormwater runoff and promote filtration, plant uptake, absorption, and infiltration into sub-soils to reduce subsidence rates.
The city is a co-permittee under the permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) discharges. The City is obligated to comply with the Permit, including the implementation of a Stormwater Management Plan or equivalent, which requires Best Management Practices (BMPs) for all construction activity, good housekeeping practices, and post-construction BMPs for development projects.
121.5.j Maintain BMPs. All temporary and permanent erosion and sediment control BMPs shall be maintained and repaired as needed to assure continued performance of their intended function. All temporary erosion and sediment controls shall be removed within five says after final site stabilization is achieved of after the temporary controls are no longer needed, whichever is later. Trapped sediment shall be removed or stabilized on site. Disturbed soil areas resulting from removal shall be permanently stabilized.
121.8 Post-Construction. A stormwater management plan is required in any of the following circumstances;
- These regulations shall apply to the entire Development Site during the Development Period;
- New construction of five thousand or more square feet of impervious surface on a development site; or
- Substantial improvement of a site with five thousand or more square feet of impervious surface on a currently developed site.
121.10 Standards. Stormwater management plans shall demonstrate that the following standards have been met:
- The first one and one quarter inches of stormwater from each drainage area on a site shall be managed on site …
- The post-development peak stormwater runoff rate from a site shall not exceed the pre-development peak stormwater runoff rate from that development sire for a 10 year, 24-hour design storm; and
- The quality of the first one and one quarter inches stormwater leaving the site post-development shall be treated to demonstrate given standards …
121.13. g. Post-Construction Certification. Prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, post-construction certification must be obtained in accordance with this chapter.
h. Annual inspection. Re-certification of all stormwater BMPs and associated infrastructure is required on an annual basis in accordance with this chapter.
i. Expiration. Every approved stormwater management plan shall become invalid:
- If the work authorized by the permit is not commenced within six months after its issuance, or
- If the work authorized by the permit is suspended for more that six months after its issuance; or
- If the work authorized by the permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of six months after the time the work is commenced.
121.14 Enforcement of Regulations. No certificate of occupancy may be issued for any development site until certification of stormwater management features has been obtained. Failure to implement the stormwater management plan is cause for the withholding of the Certificate of Occupancy. The applicant shall maintain all stormwater BMPs and associated infrastructure in perpetuity in accordance with the associated maintenance plan or program. The site owner or authorized agent shall inspect all stormwater BMPs and associated infrastructure on a monthly basis, and shall keep records indicating all maintenance actions required and taken during each month. These records may be requested by the Department of Safety and Permits at any time. Failure to maintain compliance with the approved stormwater management plan is cause for the application of fines and penalties, as allowed under City Code. All landscape and stormwater management BMPs and associated infrastructure shall be maintained in conformance with the approved plan, are subject to periodic inspection by the Department of Safety and Permits and shall be recertified annually as specified below. Failure to maintain or certify the stormwater management features is cause for revocation of the certificate of occupance and/or the application of fines and penalties, as established in this Ordinance.
121.16 Fees. There shall be a few of two hundred and fifty dollars for annual certification of stormwater management plans. There shall be a penalty of five hundred dollars for annual recertification of stormwater management plans that have passed the expiration date. Failure to submit plans 30 days after expiration shall subject a property to administrative adjudication with daily penalty of five hundred dollars.
121.17 Post-Construction Certification.
a. Prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, the following shall occur to ensure compliance with the stormwater regulations:
- Submission of digital as-built plans showing the final design specifications for all stormwater management facilities and practices, the field location, size, depth of all measures, control, and planted vegetation, and devices, as installed.
- A landscape architect or professional engineer, as applicable, licensed in Louisiana hall provide n affidavit, under seal, attesting the stormwater management measures have been installed in accordance with all approved plans and specifications, and in compliance with all other applicable standards.
- Post a performace bond in the amout of twenty five percent of the cost of construction, materials, and two years of maintenance of all stormwater management BMPs and associated infrastructure to be held for two years from the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy. The bond shall be in the form provided by the City.
- Record the as-built drawing, affidavit, and executed performance bond in the Office of the Clerk of the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans and shall submit evidence of such recordation to the Department of Safety and Permits.
b. Initial Certification. Stormwater BMPs and associated infrastructure are subject to an initial certification period of twenty-four months, starting from the date that the Department of Safety and Permits issues a Certificate of Occupancy for a property with an approved Stormwater Management Plan.
c. Biennial Certification. Re-certification of all stormwater BMPs and associated infrastructure is required on a biennial basis.
- No more than thirty days prior to recertification, a landscape architect or professional engineer, as applicable, licensed in Louisiana shall conduct an inspection of all BMPs and associated infrastructure, and shall certify, under seal, that the stormwater measures BMPs and associated infrastructure are in compliance with the recorded as-built stormwater management plans and designs, and with all other applicable standards
- The property owner shall be eligible to pay for re-certification not more than three months prior to the expiration of the previous certification.