Stormwater Permitting

To address the challenge of managing rainfall and runoff, the City of New Orleans enacted a Stormwater Code in 2018. This code establishes rules for managing stormwater from new developments and redevelopments, which add to the volume of runoff entering the drainage system. These regulations apply to all new developments or redevelopments, excluding single- or two-family residences with fewer than six units, that cover over 5,000 square feet of impervious surface or encompass a site of one acre or more. Compliance involves retaining or detaining and filtering the initial 1.25 inches of stormwater from each rainfall event, as well as limiting the rate of post-development runoff through the use of Green Infrastructure techniques. 

The Stormwater Code sets forth a comprehensive framework aimed at achieving multiple objectives crucial for the sustainable development and resilience of New Orleans. These provisions are designed to: 

  • Foster the creation of a more resilient New Orleans through the promotion of sustainable practices in site design, construction, and maintenance. 

  • Mitigate the impact of urban runoff on the existing drainage system by preserving permeable surfaces and mandating the implementation of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) to slow the flow of stormwater runoff and enhance filtration, absorption, and infiltration into sub-soils, thereby reducing subsidence rates. 

  • Enhance the built environment by integrating design features that mimic natural processes, conserve natural areas, manage rainfall close to its source, and provide temporary water retention spaces, recognizing the intrinsic value of water and its potential for multiple benefits when managed effectively.

For more information, please visit the Stormwater Management requirements.