Managing Stormwater

Stormwater runoff results from rain falling on impervious surfaces like rooftops, roads, parking lots, and other pavements. Stormwater runoff can pick up pollutants along its journey back into local waterways. Effective stormwater management protects streams and rivers by reducing pollutants in runoff and decreasing the volume of stormwater discharged.

The Port of Portland operates under several different stormwater permits that allow discharges into waterways provided the Port follows best management practices and meet benchmarks specified by regulatory agencies. The Port is a co-permittee with the City of Portland on a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). In accordance with the permit, the Port has a comprehensive stormwater management plan that emphasizes responsible management activities tailored to different operating areas.

Traditional stormwater management uses systems of pipes and drains to collect stormwater and transport it back to waterways. Although this system of piping and treating stormwater can be effective, it is often costly to construct and maintain. Proactively managing stormwater helps the Port incorporate sustainable stormwater management solutions where possible. The goal of these systems is to mimic natural processes by using native vegetation and pervious surfaces so that rainwater can recharge ground water instead of running into the storm sewer system. Sustainable infrastructure takes into account economic, social and environmental factors that benefit not only the Port, but also Port tenants, the surrounding community and the environment.

Dorothy Sperry, Environmental Affairs Manager, 503.415.6642

Related Green Side Stories:
Terminal 6 Paves the Way to Infiltration
Protecting the Slough

Learn More:
Port of Portland Stormwater Management Plan
Port of Portland MS4 Annual Reports