Stormwater Credit Trading Program


In regulatory compliance with Michigan’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), permit application for discharge of stormwater to surface- waters from a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), new and redevelopment projects are required to meet Minimum Post-Construction Stormwater Runoff regulations. Controls for this type of runoff are necessary to maintain or restore stable hydrology in receiving waters by limiting surface runoff rates and volumes as well as reducing pollutant loadings from sites that undergo development or significant redevelopment.

Following its values of Accountability, Collaboration, Customer Service, Equity, Innovation, and Sustainability, the City welcomes creative approaches to stormwater management. Stormwater management has and continues to change. The old way was all about getting it out fast. The new mantra is slow it down, spread it out, and soak it in. The Stormwater Credit Trading Program aligns with all these values and to the new way of doing things.

Stormwater Credit Zone Map

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Stormwater Credit Sites

Name Address Installation Capacity Type Trading Area
1 Subsurface Storage System Lafayette Ave. 1/1/2016 720,000 SSS North
2 Elmdale St & Eastern Ave Practice Type: 0 Elmdale St & Eastern Ave 8/21/2017 145,000 Bioswale North
3 Riverside Park - Cycle Track 3151 Monroe Ave NW 2/1/2016 31,121 PP North
4 Atlas Ave Permial Brick Pavers 1415 WEALTHY ST SE 11/1/2018 20,669 PP North
5 LAFAYETTE AVE NE Practice Type: 5 648 LAFAYETTE AVE NE 8/1/2018 9,082 PP North
6 Oak Industrial Dr NE Practice Type: 5 1900 Oak Industrial Dr NE 4/1/2015 5,845 PP North
7 CURVE ST SW Practice Type: 2 850 CURVE ST SW 11/1/2017 18,900 Bioswale South
8 Madison Square Lot 437 Madison 10/1/20119 11,887 SSS South
9 Newberry Porous Sidewalk Pavers Newberry St from Monroe Ave to Division Ave 9/1/2019 10,690 PP South
10 Neland and Hall Rain Garden C 1028 HALL ST SE N/A 8,400 NL South
11 Cooper and Hall Rain Garden C 1130 Hall St SE N/A 7,896 NL South
12 Hall and Niagara Rain Garden D 1160 HALL ST SE N/A 7,160 NL South
13 Benjamin and Hall Rain Garden C 1300 and 1306 Hall St SE N/A 6,176 NL South
14 Bridge St. and Winter Ave 340 SUMMER AVE NW 12/1/2015 1,151 PP West
15 Leaching Basin at 26 STRAIGHT AVE NW 26 STRAIGHT AVE NW 1/1/2017 659 IB West
16 Leaching Basin at 758 CALIFORNIA ST NW 758 CALIFORNIA ST NW 1/1/2017 659 IB West
17 Leaching Basin at 158 NATIONAL AVE NW 158 NATIONAL AVE NW 1/1/2017 659 IB West
18 Leaching Basin at 671 OAKHURST AVE NW 671 OAKHURST AVE NW N/A 659 IB West
19 Infiltration Basin at 804 PAT AVE NW 804 PAT AVE NW 2/1/2021 659 IB West


Stormwater Credit Trading Program

The Stormwater Credit Trading Program is a way for property owners to comply with post-construction stormwater runoff standards, even if their property does not allow them to capture stormwater onsite, by allowing for the selling and purchasing of Stormwater Credits between property owners in the same geographical zone.

By purchasing Stormwater Credits from participating properties who have generated them, properties with limited capacity for infiltration can meet post-construction regulatory obligations.


  • What is a Stormwater Credit? - Stormwater Credits are based on the volume of stormwater runoff treated by Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI). Each credit is equivalent to 1 cubic foot of GSI retention capacity.
  • Why Purchase Stormwater Credits? - Property owners or developers subject to post-construction stormwater management requirements can meet a portion of their retention requirements by buying these volume-based stormwater "credits".
  • Why Generate Stormwater Credits? - Selling credits generates revenue while providing benefits to public health and the environment.

Pathways to Compliance for Stormwater Management

Property owners and developers who are required to meet Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) post-construction stormwater minimums have the following compliance options:

  1. Onsite compliance - If conditions are feasible, implementing Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) onsite is required. Projects may simply achieve regulatory compliance.
  2. Purchase Stormwater Credits - If regulatory compliance using GSI is difficult to implement onsite, purchasing Stormwater Credits may be a path to achieve regulatory compliance.
  3. Payment in lieu of onsite compliance - Property owner of developer of a site where GSI is difficult to achieve pays a fee to the City of Grand Rapids that will be applied to public projects implementing GSI.
  4. Enable offsite mitigation by generating Stormwater Credits - Sites exceeding GSI compliance can generate Stormwater Credits that an eligible development project within the same geographical zone could purchase to achieve regulatory compliance.

Step-by-Step Instructions

 Purchasing Credits Generating Credits
Cost effective option for new/redevelopment projects to meet regulatory compliance to manage stormwater runoff
  • New/redevelopment projects implementing GSI to treat more stormwater than required regulations
  • Voluntary GSI projects where construction activities do not trigger stormwater management standards
Step 1 - Determine eligibility to comply using Offsite Compliance based on feasibility criteria and SVC amount required Step 1 - Determine eligibility to generate SVCs from a green infrastructure project
Step 2 - Submit LUDS application that includes request for Offsite Compliance, if applicable

Step 2 - Submit LUDS application for project that adds GSI capacity

Step 3 - Receive LUDS approval from the City including approval of credit purchase for offsite compliance Step 3 - Receive LUDS approval for project and certification of SVCs to be created
Step 4 - Access Marketplace to determine availability of credits needed for offsite compliance

Step 4 - Enable the City to list SVCs in Marketplace (check box on LUDS application)

Step 5 - Contact listed seller to negotiate a price and quantity to purchase credits for volume required Step 5 - Negotiate a price and quantity for SVC transaction with potential buyer
Step 6 - Submit Purchase Agreement and Maintenance Contract for permit approval on Citizen Access Step 6 - Submit Purchase Agreement and Maintenance Contract for GSI; Maintain and re-certify GSI per permit requirements

Stormwater Credit Trading Program Existing Agreement Form