According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 40% of surveyed water bodies do not meet standards, due, in a large part, to polluted stormwater runoff from streets, neighborhoods and parking lots. To address this concern, the EPA, in 1990, required large municipalities, such as Denver and Aurora, to apply for a Phase I Stormwater Permit. In 2003, cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000 people were required to apply for a Phase II Stormwater Permit. The City of Arvada has a Phase II permit.
In March 2003, the City submitted a Stormwater Permit Application to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Again, on March 2008, the City submitted its second permit term application to the State. In both permits, the City is required to implement programs to improve stream water quality within the city's boundaries. The Permit commits Arvada to developing or continuing programs in the following areas:
- Public Outreach / Education - Educate and engage residents and members of the business community in understanding how their actions affect stormwater and, consequently, water quality in our streams.
- Public Participation / Involvement - Comply with State and local public notice requirements using an effective mechanism for reaching the public.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination - Develop procedure to detect and eliminate pollutant levels in stormwater or other potential discharges that may degrade and threaten aquatic life, wildlife and human health.
- Construction Site Erosion Control - Reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff into the City's waterways from construction activities that result in land disturbance, including but not limited to silt, sediment, concrete, masonry, paint, oil, and any other material incidental to construction activities.
- Long-Term Maintenance of Stormwater Best Management Practices - Prevent or minimize impacts to stormwater from new developments or in redevelopments by ensuring that stormwater conveyance structures operate as designed and are maintained.
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping of Municipal Operations - Develop guidance and procedures in the form of Runoff Control Plans and train staff on how their actions affect stormwater quality.
The Apex Center, under North Jeffco Park and Recreation District, was designated by the State as needing a Stormwater Permit because of the number of people each day that it serves. For the purposes of leveraging resources, the City of Arvada’s Stormwater Permit includes this facility.