Environmental Standards

Wattle deters erosion on slopes
Frances Short Pond Bioretention Swale (LID)

Objective 8:  Improve Compliance with Environmental Standards and Protections

Relevant Standards

  • Meet requirements of the Clean Water Act, anticipate future legal/regulatory requirements
  • Operate and maintain facilities to minimize impacts on the environment
  • Swift response to pollutant/contaminant spills and illegal discharges
  • Support watershed health, and a proactive approach to habitat protection and enhancements


Stormwater management and protecting the environment are related. However, this Strategic Objective focuses less on flood management and more on pollution. The City and the Division participate in a variety of activities that address environmental protection, many arising from standards in the Clean Water Act, including monitoring and ensuring compliance related to:

  • Wastewater treatment plant discharges
  • Restricting development in rural flood plains
  • Run-off and discharges from construction sites and industrial facilities
  • Managing flood plains and addressing sources of contaminants in these flood plains

The Low Impact Development (LID) program requires collecting and treating stormwater from impervious development sites. Flagstaff has one of the most effective LID programs in Arizona. In addition, the Division participates in mitigation and restoration of wildlife and natural habitats


Despite the City’s and Division’s successes with respect to environmental protection, there is a need for continued improvement, including the following:

  • The standards and capabilities for responding to illegal discharges are not fully developed
  • Some flood channels are filled with contaminating debris, e.g. tires and old automobiles
  • A better overall assessment of environmental issues in Flagstaff’s watersheds is needed
  • Maintaining NPDES permits related to wastewater discharges

Timing Concerns

This is an ongoing effort, but improved response to illegal discharges should happen immediately.

Specific Responses

  Champion Action Items Timing
1.    Update the Low Impact Development (LID) Code,             addressing errors, emissions, and clarity ___________________ ________________________
2.    Continue to improve the standards and response           related to illegal discharges      
3.    Develop a better assessment of wildfire issues and         recommend corrective actions      
4.    Assess the resources required to produce the                 Watershed and Flood Plain Management Plans      
5.    Develop schedule for completing the Watershed            and Flood Plain Management Plans      
6.    Increase water-use efficiency through active and             passive rainwater capture      
7.    Evaluate the overall environmental impact of                   Water Services on our natural resources      

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