Information: We recently updated this page and will continue to work on information about MS4 stormwater management. If you have suggestions, we welcome comments using the comment box at the bottom of most pages in the manual.
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The municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) stormwater program is designed to reduce the amount of sediment and pollution that enters surface and ground water from storm sewer systems. Public entities that own or operate an MS4 play a key role in preventing or reducing the negative impacts stormwater runoff has on our valuable water resources.
Proper stormwater runoff management in urbanized areas is especially important for restoring and protecting surface waters. Urbanized areas are more likely to have activities that contribute pollutants to stormwater runoff, like applying anti/deicing mixtures to roads; fueling vehicles; grease, oil, and other spills; landscaping; and using pesticides and fertilizers. Urbanized areas have a large amount of impervious surfaces, or surfaces that rain and snowmelt cannot pass through, such as streets, driveways, rooftops, parking lots and sidewalks. Stormwater runoff from these surfaces travels faster and in higher amounts, damaging rivers, streams, and wetlands; destroying aquatic habitats; increasing the amount of pollutants that enter surface waters; and limiting groundwater recharge.
MS4 stormwater program overview
MS4 stormwater permit
MS4 General Permit reissuance
Visit the MS4 General Permit reissuance page for updates on the next MS4 General Permit.
Minimum Control Measures
- MCM 1 Public Education and Outreach - public education outreach materials, public education implementation plan, examples of how to document outreach activities, and examples of outreach materials
- MCM 2 Public Participation/Involvement - examples of how to document events held
- MCM 3 Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination - regulatory mechanism to prohibit illicit discharges, illicit discharge recognition training, procedures for investigating, locating, and eliminating the source of illicit discharges, and spill response procedures
- MCM 4 Construction Site Stormwater Control - site plan review procedures & items to evaluate, construction site inspection procedures and inspection checklists, and documentation of site plan reviews
- MCM 5 Post-Construction Stormwater Management - legal mechanisms for long-term maintenance of structural stormwater best management practices (BMPs), site plan review checklists
- MCM 6 Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping - facilities inventory examples; procedures for determining pond effectiveness of treating total suspended solids (TSS) and total phosphorus (TP); inspection checklists for documenting structural stormwater BMPs, stormwater management ponds, outfalls, stockpiles, and storage and material handling areas; employee training commensurate with the employee's job responsibilities
MS4 Digital Document Library
The MS4 Digital Document Library provides guidance to help local MS4 staff meet the requirements of the six minimum control measures (MCMs) in the MS4 General Permit and assist with overall stormwater management. In addition to general guidance documents, the Digital Document Library has example documents that stormwater staff are using to manage their stormwater pollution prevention programs (SWPPPs). Common examples of documents in the library include:
- inspection and checklists and forms,
- site plan review checklists,
- documentation tracking mechanisms, or
- standard operating procedures.
All documents in the Digital Document Library are available for all site users to download and use. MPCA staff will review all materials to ensure their compliance with the MS4 General Permit prior to posting in the Digital Document Library.
Other technical assistance and guidance
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)