Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permits

Discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems are regulated under the Virginia Stormwater Management Act, the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit regulations, and the Clean Water Act as point source discharges. MS4 regulations were developed and implemented in two phases. Implementation of the first phase began in the early 1990s and required that operators of MS4s serving populations of greater than 100,000 people (per the 1990 decennial census) apply for and obtain a permit to discharge stormwater from their outfalls. The second phase of MS4 regulations became effective March 23, 2003, and required that operators of small MS4s in "urbanized areas" (as defined by the latest decennial census) obtain a permit to discharge stormwater from their outfalls. 

Individual Permits

Stormwater discharges from Phase I (large and medium) municipal separate storm sewer systems are authorized under individual permits. Under these permits, the MS4 owner/operator must implement a collective series of programs to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the given storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable in a manner that protects the water quality of nearby streams, rivers, wetlands and bays.

The programs must include elements to:

  • Operate and maintain structural stormwater controls
  • Control discharges from areas of development and significant redevelopment
  • Operate and maintain public streets, roads and highways
  • Identify, monitor and control discharges from municipal waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities
  • Control pollutants related to application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers
  • Implement an inspection program to enforce ordinances, which prohibit illicit connections and illegal dumping into the MS4
  • Screen the MS4 for illicit connections and illegal dumping
  • Implement standard investigative procedures to identify and terminate sources of illicit connections or discharges
  • Prevent, contain and respond to spills that may discharge into the MS4
  • Limit the infiltration of sanitary seepage into the MS4
  • Identify, monitor and control discharges from municipal landfills; hazardous waste treatment, storage, disposal and recovery facilities; facilities subject to EPCRA Title III, Section 313; and any other industrial or commercial discharge the permittee determines to be contributing a substantial pollutant loading to the MS4
  • Control pollutants in construction site runoff
  • Conduct public education on stormwater

General Permits

Stormwater discharges from Phase II (small) MS4s are regulated under the General Permit for the Discharge of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. Small MS4s include storm sewer systems operated by cities, counties, towns, federal facilities such as military bases, Veteran’s Affairs hospitals and research facilities, Department of Defense facilities and parkways, and state facilities such as VDOT, community colleges and public universities.

Under the general permit, small MS4s must develop, implement and enforce a program that includes the following “six minimum control measures":

  • Public education and outreach on stormwater impacts
  • Public involvement and participation
  • Illicit discharge detection and elimination
  • Construction site stormwater runoff control
  • Post-construction stormwater management in new development and redevelopment
  • Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations

Similar to the Phase I programs, small Phase II MS4 programs must be designed and implemented to control the discharge of pollutants from their storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable in a manner that protects the water quality in nearby streams, rivers, wetlands and bays.

Fees

Permit Issuance Fees (9 VAC 25-870-800):

Application fees for issuance of new MS4 individual permits, modifications to MS4 individual permits, and new MS4 general permits must be submitted with the permit application for individual permits or registration statement for general permits.  The fee schedule is as follows:

TYPE OF STATE PERMIT ISSUANCE REISSUANCE
Municipal Stormwater/MS4 Individual (Large or Medium) $16,000 $5,000
Municipal Stormwater/MS4 Individual (Small) $8,000 $2,500
Municipal Stormwater/MS4 General Permit (Small) $4,000 Not Applicable

 

Annual Permit Maintenance Fees (9 VAC 25-870-830):

The annual state permit maintenance fees apply to each MS4 permit, including those permits that have been administratively continued.  Annual maintenance fees are due by October 1st of each year.  DEQ will send invoices to all permittees. The annual maintenance fee schedule is as follows:

TYPE OF STATE PERMIT ANNUAL MAINTENANCE FEE
Municipal Stormwater/MS4 Individual (Large or Medium) $8,800
Municipal Stormwater/MS4 Individual (Small) $6,000
Municipal Stormwater/MS4 General Permit (Small) $3,000

 

All permit fees shall be payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia" and submitted to:

Department of Environmental Quality
Receipts Control
P.O. Box 1104
Richmond, VA 23218

Checks should include the permit number or invoice number in the check's reference field. Also, a copy of the invoice should accompany the check.

Forms

To apply for an individual permit or modification to an individual permit, contact the Jeff Selengut (804-698-4265) in the DEQ Water Division.

To apply for general permit coverage, a complete registration statement, application fee form and the appropriate fee must be submitted to DEQ.  Applications, registration statements, and a copy of the fee form should be mailed to DEQ, Office of VPDES Permits, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218.  The original fee form and fee should be mailed to DEQ, Receipts Control, P.O. Box 1104, Richmond, VA 23218.

General Permit Forms effective through June 30, 2018:

Current MS4 Permits

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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