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Municipal Stormwater

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

MS4 Annual Status Reports will be due for many MS4 permittees on September 30, 2018.

An Annual Report is due by September 30, 2018 if an MS4 permittee had coverage under the PAG-13 General Permit as of September 16, 2017 (i.e., the due date for PAG-13 NOIs to renew coverage). The reporting period is the end of the previous annual or progress report to June 30, 2018. For subsequent annual reports, the reporting period will be July 1 – June 30.

An Annual Report is due by September 30, 2019 if an MS4 permittee did not have PAG-13 coverage as of September 16, 2017, but received coverage for the first time after September 16, 2017. The reporting period is the permit effective date to June 30, 2019. For subsequent annual reports, the reporting period will be July 1 – June 30.

For MS4 permittees with individual permits that prescribe a due date for Annual or Progress Reports other than September 30, DEP requests that you submit your next report by September 30, 2018, and all subsequent reports by September 30. All new and renewed individual permits will require submission by this date. DEP is requesting that you adopt this as your due date moving forward as part of an initiative related to electronic reporting. The reporting period is the end of the previous annual or progress report to June 30, 2018. For subsequent annual reports, the reporting period will be July 1 – June 30.

DEP has been working toward the development of an electronic annual reporting system. Development is expected to be complete during 2018, but likely not in time for the September 2018 reports. Therefore you will need to use DEP's Annual Report template (3800-FM-BCW0491) for reports due by September 30, 2018. DEP will distribute further information on the status of the electronic system in the near future. For now, please submit the annual reports in hard copy format or, if you receive authorization from the appropriate DEP regional office, through email.

For any existing MS4 (renewal permittee) that submitted an annual or progress report after September 30, 2017, DEP will consider the requirement to submit an annual report by September 30, 2018 to have been met.

MS4 Annual Fee Schedule

An annual fee of $500 is due by September 30, 2018 if an MS4 permittee had coverage under the PAG-13 General Permit before March 16, 2018 unless the permittee has since received a waiver.

An annual fee of $500 is due by September 30, 2019 if an MS4 permittee received PAG-13 General Permit coverage, for the first time, on or after March 16, 2018.

For MS4s with individual permit coverage, an annual fee of $500 is due on the anniversary of the permit effective date.

If you have any questions, please contact DEP's Bureau of Clean Water at RA-EPPAMS4@pa.gov.

Background

Municipalities and other entities such as universities and prisons that meet certain standards must obtain NPDES permit coverage for discharges of stormwater from their municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s).

In Pennsylvania there are two Large MS4s, no Medium MS4s, and 953 Small MS4s.

MS4s must apply for NPDES permit coverage or a waiver if they are located in an urbanized area as determined by the latest Decennial Census by the U.S. Census Bureau, or if they are designated as needing a permit by DEP. EPA has posted Urbanized Area Maps from the 2010 Census data. Urbanized Area information from the 2000 Census can also be reviewed at the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Urbanized Areas Information website.

For the current permit term, MS4s that discharge to surface waters impaired for certain pollutants or that discharge to waters in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are required to develop Pollutant Reduction Plans (PRPS) or TMDL Plans. See the PRP/TMDL Plans webpage for further information.

NPDES PERMITS

Small MS4s required to obtain permit coverage may, if eligible, apply for coverage under the 2018 NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small MS4s (PAG-13) (PDF) (3800-PM-BCW0100) which is currently in effect.

Small MS4s that are ineligible for PAG-13 General Permit coverage may apply for an individual permit (3800-PM-BPNPSM0200).

Permit coverage is generally for a 5-year term. The applicant submits either an Individual Permit application or a "Notice of Intent' (NOI) to discharge under the statewide General Permit at least 180 days prior to the expiration date of coverage. When the statewide PAG-13 General Permit is reissued by DEP, as was done in March 2018, MS4s covered by the previous PAG-13 General Permit are automatically covered by the reissued PAG-13 General Permit if a timely NOI is submitted by the MS4. New requirements may then apply to the MS4. The MS4 can, if it chooses, elect to apply for an individual NPDES permit in lieu of continued coverage under the reissued General Permit.

DEP has developed a reporting tool that can be used to generate lists of NPDES-permitted and waived MS4s in Pennsylvania.

COMPLIANCE

DEP's regional offices inspect MS4s to determine whether the MS4 is meeting its permit obligations. The inspections are documented on DEP's MS4 inspection report (PDF) (3800-FM-BPNPSM0489). DEP also reviews the Annual Status Report (3800-FM-BCW0492) submitted by MS4s to DEP.

For more information on MS4 NPDES permits and compliance, email the Bureau of Clean Water (BCW) at RA-EPPAMS4@pa.gov, or contact BCW by phone at 717-787-5017.

PROGRAM UPDATES

DEP published the final NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small MS4s ("PAG-13") in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on June 4, 2016. That General Permit is effective as of March 16, 2018. DEP received over 600 comments on the draft PAG-13 General Permit that was published on May 30, 2015, and has prepared a comment-response document.

DEP also published individual NPDES permit application documents for small MS4s on its website for those MS4s that cannot use the PAG-13 General Permit, such as MS4s with a requirement to develop a TMDL Plan or discharge to special protection waters.

Periodic updates to the MS4 "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" (PDF) document are published.

The FAQ provides good general background information as well as concepts relevant to Pollutant Reduction Plans and TMDL Plans.

RELATED INFORMATION

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