Stormwater Management

What is Stormwater?

The Stormwater Management Program is a major element in the Port's commitment to preventing, reducing, and eliminating the discharge of polluted stormwater into Bellingham Bay. Stormwater is rain and melted snow that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways, and parking lots. As water runs off these surfaces, it can pick up pollution such as oil, trash, animal waste, fertilizers, and pesticides.

The Port maintains high standards in its management of stormwater pollution. We actively monitor Port facilities and work with tenants to ensure these standards are met.


The Port is a secondary permittee under the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. A secondary permittee is an operator of a regulated small municipal separate storm sewer system that is not a city, town, or county. An integral part of the Phase II Permit is the development and implementation of a stormwater management program to reduce pollutant discharges and protect water quality.  To comment on this Stormwater Management Program, send the Port an Email.

The Port also maintains coverage under the Washington Industrial Stormwater General Permit (ISGP) for operations at two Port facilities.    

In May 2008, the Port Board of Commissioners adopted appropriate policies prohibiting illicit discharges, which includes possible enforcement mechanisms for those policies.  View a copy of the Port's Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Policy.

More Stormwater Information

o    City of Bellingham                                       

o    City of Ferndale

o    City of Lynden

o    Whatcom County

o    EnviroStars

o    Washington Stormwater Center

Low-Impact Development

The Port of Bellingham is strongly committed to environmental stewardship in the waters and surrounding shorelines of Whatcom County. Low-impact development (LID) technology is an alternative comprehensive approach to stormwater management that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. LID uses strategies such as environmentally sensitive rain gardens and pervious pavements.  The Port evaluates stormwater best management practice (BMP) options and implements LID measures when appropriate.