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EPA MS4 Permit: Are You One of the 260 Massachusetts Municipalities Affected?


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) general permit for the discharge of stormwater from small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in Massachusetts.

The new Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit will apply to 260 municipalities, including traditional cities and towns, state and federal facilities, and state transportation agencies. Seventeen of the municipalities are potentially eligible for waivers from the new permitting requirements.

The updated permits will require municipalities to develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program to protect water quality and satisfy the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. Some requirements include reducing stormwater discharges to waterbodies with approved Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), as well as addressing impaired waters without a TMDL in place.

The updates were published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2016 and will become effective July 1, 2017. Permittees will have ninety days from the effective date to file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with EPA and one year to update Stormwater Management Plans (SWMPs) from the 2003 permit. The EPA and MassDEP will conduct workshops in May to provide more information on the revisions.

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