Ohio EPA Issues Draft General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems

Ohio EPA is taking public comments on a draft general permit renewal to allow storm water discharges from small municipal separate storm sewers (MS4s). These are systems that serve fewer than 100,000 people in urbanized areas.

A public hearing has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at Ohio EPA’s conference center, room A, 50 West Town Street, Columbus. Those planning to attend should bring a photo I.D. to check in at the building’s security desk.

Permits are required for these sewers because they can carry pollutants from parking lots, streets, sidewalks, lawns and rooftops into local rivers. Pollutants typically include vehicle fluids, oils, road salt, herbicides, pesticides and other materials which run into storm sewers.

The permit would offer coverage to all small MS4s required to obtain a discharge permit and would be effective for five years. It identifies who may be covered, how to obtain coverage and how coverage may be terminated. It also includes requirements to develop and implement a storm water management program (SWMP), including best management practices to be required in the permit. Under the SWMP, the MS4 would select a strategy to address the six minimum control measures listed in the permit, including why strategies were selected based on local water quality issues, and milestones for meeting best management practice goals.

To view the public notice, small MS4 draft permit fact sheet or a draft of the general permit, please visit the MS4 Draft General Permit link, or make an appointment to visit Ohio EPA’s central office Division of Surface Water from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. You may also contact Anthony Robinson at (614) 728-3392, or anthony.robinson@epa.ohio.gov.

Written comments may be submitted in person or by mail no later than Jan. 29, 2014, to Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, 43216-1049, or to anthony.robinson@epa.ohio.gov.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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