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.
Visit the MS4 General Permit reissuance page for updates on the next MS4 General Permit.
When seeking to manage a Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4), an effective Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) has six different components known as Minimum Control Measures (MCMs). Follow this link to learn more about each MCM along with resources and guidance.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to evaluate MS4 permittees for compliance with the MS4 General Permit. The MPCA does this through compliance audits. To find out more information about the audit process see the pages below:
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are EPA approved amounts of pollutant loading that can occur and have a water body meet water quality standards. Follow this link to learn more about them along with guidance and resources.