General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)
Program Update - What's new
- On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, Vermont's MS4 Permit was issued. This MS4 permit is the second MS4 General Permit issued by the State of Vermont. The first MS4 permit was issued in 2003 and amended in 2004. Both the 2004 and 2012 permits authorize stormwater discharges within the Urbanized Areas of the following small MS4s: Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston, and Winooski, the University of Vermont, the Burlington International Airport and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). The VTrans small MS4 includes state highways within the Urbanized Areas in the above mentioned municipalities and in the towns of Jericho and Underhill. Click here for the Press Release and Permit Q&A.
- Concurrent with the 2012 MS4 permit issuance, the Department is designatating those portions of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems that discharge to the stormwater impaired waters. The designated small MS4s, within the stormwater impaired watersheds, are operated by the City of Rutland, the Town of Rutland, the City of St. Albans, the Town of St. Albans, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation within the geographic boundaries of the stormwater impaired watersheds in the municipalities listed above.
- The most significant change in the 2012 MS4 permit is the requirement for municipalities to develop Flow Restoration Plans (FRPs) to implement the stormwater TMDLs. The FRPs must be developed for each impaired watershed within 3 years and must include the following elements: 1) an identification of the required controls, 2) a design and construction schedule, 3) a financial plan, 4) a regulatory analysis, 5) the identification of regulatory assistance, and 6) identification of any third party implementation. The schedule shall provide for implementation of the required BMPs as soon as possible, but no later than 20 years from the effective date of the permit.
Permit Documents and Forms
What is an MS4?
A municipal separate storm sewer system is a conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads with drainage systems, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains):
- Owned or operated by a State, city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association, or other public body (created by or pursuant to State law) having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, stormwater, or other wastes, including special districts under State law such as a sewer district, flood control district or drainage district, or similar entity, or a designated and approved management agency under Section 208 of the CWA that discharges to waters of the State and waters of the United States
- Designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater;
- Which is not a combined sewer; and
- Which is not part of a publicly owned treatment works.
Types of small MS4s
Small MS4s include cities, towns, counties, airports, highway departments, and universities. There are four ways by which a small MS4 may be designated as a "regulated" small MS4 and thus require permit coverage:
- Automaic designation - Small MS4s located within the boundaries of a Census Bureau-defined Urbanized Area (UA) based on the 2000 Census or any subsequent decennial census. Urbanized Areas include areas with populations of at least 50,000 people with an overall population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile.
These communities are Burlington, Colchester, Essex,
Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston,
and Winooski. Three publicly owned 'non-traditional' separate storm
sewer systems were also designated. These systems are owned or operated
by the University of Vermont, Burlington International Airport and
the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The regulations apply to areas
served by each MS4 that are located either within the UA or watersheds that are principally
impaired by stormwater.
- Potential designation by permit authority - Small MS4s that are located outside of UAs determined to result in, or have the potential to, result in significant water quality impacts;
These MS4s are those areas that discharge to waters listed as impaired due to stormwater runoff within the municipal separate storm sewer systems of the City of St. Albans, the Town of St. Albans, the City of Rutland, the Town of Rutland, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation within these areas.
- Contributes to an interconnected "regulated" MS4 - Small MS4s that contribute substanitally to pollutant loadings of a physically interconnected MS4 regulated by the NPDES storm water program;
- Petition for designation - Small MS4s may be designated following a final determination by the Department on a petition, or request, for designation.
MS4 Permit Requirements
There are six minimum
measures required of each designated municipality under the Rule. These measures are:
(1) Public Education
(2) Public Participation/Involvement
(3) Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
(4) Construction Site Runoff Control
(5) Post-Construction Runoff Control and
(6) Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping.
In addition, municipalities that dishcarge to stormwater impaired waters must prepare and implement a Flow Restoration Plan for their portion of the stormwater impaired watershed.
Links to Additional Information
Links to MS4 Stormwater Websites
Links to Previous Documents and Permit
Draft General Permit 3-9014 (2010)
Previously Issued MS4 Permit (2003)
- MS4 Notice of Issuance (pdf, 61 KB)
- MS4 Response Summary (pdf, 208 KB)
- MS4 Notice of Intent Form (pdf,
36 KB), (Word, 37 KB )
- Amended MS4 Response
Summary (pdf, 24 KB)
- Amended MS4 Notice
of Issuance (pdf, 18 KB)
- Amended MS4 Permit (pdf, 201 KB)
- Amended General
Permit 3-9014, as further modified by the Water Resources Board's
decision In re Small Municipal Separate
Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), WQ-03-08 and WQ-04-03 [July
21, 2005] (pdf, 118 KB)