Storm Water Program

Storm water discharges are generated by runoff from land and impervious areas such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops during rainfall and snow events. Storm water often contains pollutants in quantities that could adversely affect water quality. Most storm water discharges are considered point sources and require coverage by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The primary method to control storm water discharges is through the use of best management practices (BMPs).

Ohio NPDES Storm Water Program Fact Sheet

For information about storm water management at home, visit the Public Interest Center's website.

Small MS4 General Permit Renewal (Final General Permit – OHQ000004)

STREAMS Applications

Application forms are now only accessible electronically via the Ohio EPA eBusiness center Step-by-step guidance is located here

Consultants cannot PIN (i.e., electronically sign) applications on behalf of their clients. Consultants can complete and save an application then delegate it to their client to PIN and submit. See the one-page walkthrough guide.

Access the General Permit NOI, NOT, NOE, Co-Permittee NOI/NOT, and Individual Lot NOI/NOT forms through your Ohio EPA eBusiness Center account and submit electronically. The NPDES Permit Transfer form is located below. 

Storm Water General Permits

Storm Water Forms 


picture of construction site

Construction sites impact Ohio's waters by:

  • adding pollutants, especially sediment, to rainwater running off of construction sites during construction; and
  • making long-term land use changes that alter the hydrology and pollutant loading of local streams.

To limit the negative impacts of construction projects on Ohio's waters, Ohio EPA administers a permitting program designed to document construction activity in the state and require practices that keep pollutants out of the streams. The permitting program is mandated in the Clean Water Act and is part of the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) program. 

Who needs a permit?

As of March 10, 2003, if your project disturbs 1 or more acres of ground, you must get a permit to discharge storm water from your site. If your project disturbs less than 1 acre but is part of a larger plan of development or sale, you also need a permit to discharge storm water from the site.

How do I get a permit?

Most sites may get permit coverage under the general permit for discharge of storm water associated with construction activity. To get permit coverage, follow these steps, in order:

picture of construction site

  • Develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) for the construction site;
  • Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) requesting coverage for your discharges under the general permit;
  • Wait until you receive the Ohio EPA approval letter stating that you are covered under the general permit;
  • Ensure that contractors, subcontractors and staff understand their roles in carrying out the SWP3;
  • Implement the SWP3;
  • Proceed with construction, including regular maintenance and inspection of sediment and erosion controls and storm water management facilities.

Construction General Permits

Technical Assistance & Permit Compliance Materials

Storm Water Technical Assistance Program

The Storm Water Technical Assistance Program assists communities, developers, contractors, and consulting engineers with controlling the adverse impacts associated with new and existing development, including increased runoff, polluted storm water, stream erosion and loss of floodplain services. This section provides guidance for cost-effective and preventive measures (best management practices) that can be applied to limit these impacts during construction and after development. These practices control erosion and trap sediments during construction, treat pollutants from developed areas and reduce storm water runoff and protect downstream waters. Practice standards and specifications are available through the Rainwater and Land Development manual. Various tools are made available to facilitate compliance with Ohio’s NPDES permit requirements and other regulations. Training is offered for storm water practice design, storm water management plan review and construction site inspection.

To receive notice regarding updates to or new storm water technical assistance material, please subscribe to the Rainwater Updates by clicking here.

Stormwater Design Manuals

Erosion and Sediment Control Q&A Documents

Post-Construction Q&A Documents

Tools and Spreadsheets

Forms & Checklists

Additional Compliance Material

Big Darby Creek Watershed Permit Compliance Materials

Big Darby Creek Watershed

Darby water shed Location

The Big Darby Creek watershed is among the most biologically diverse stream systems of its size in the Midwest. Befitting this distinction, Ohio water quality standards regulations assign the most stringent aquatic life use designations (exceptional warmwater habitat and coldwater habitat) and the outstanding state water antidegradation category to many of the larger streams in the watershed. The watershed is home to several endangered species and Big and Little Darby Creeks are designated state and national scenic rivers.

However, recent studies document declines in water quality and stream habitat, some of which have been found to be directly related to construction activity. Among the most visible and widely publicized future threats to the Big Darby Creek watershed is conversion of farm land to suburban and commercial land uses, especially in Franklin County.

As a result, Ohio EPA has developed specific watershed conditions, found in Appendix A of OHC000005, for storm water associated with construction activity within the Big Darby Creek watershed. Appendix A implements many of the basic recommendations regarding the programs, activities and Best Management Practices developed through the Total Maximum Daily Load process and the State Water Quality Management Plan and 208 Plan. Ohio EPA believes implementation of these recommendations is necessary to protect the unique water quality and biological integrity of the Big Darby Creek system. 

Permit Compliance Materials

Related Documents

GIS Data for Download

Save the following .zip files to your computer's hard drive and use a program such as PKZIP or WINZIP to extract the files.

Olentangy River Watershed Permit Compliance Materials

Olentangy River Watershed

OlentangyDraining 543 miles of Central Ohio landscapes, the Olentangy River watershed provides drinking water, recreation, agricultural drainage and other public goods for over 250,000 watershed residents. Its waters and habitats are home to unique and diverse communities of fish, mussels and other aquatic life. Recent studies document declines in its water quality and stream habitat. Among the most visible and widely publicized threats to the Olentangy’s water quality and habitats is the conversion of farm and forest acreage to residential and commercial land uses at an exceptionally rapid pace. 

The river system drains Ohio’s first and sixth most rapidly populating counties - Delaware and Morrow, respectively. Delaware County’s most rapidly developing townships - Delaware, Liberty and Orange - overlap the river’s State Scenic River section. Areas of the Whetstone Creek subwatershed, located within Morrow County, are designated as Exceptional Warmwater Habitat (EWH) with two tributaries being designated as Coldwater Habitat (CWH). Approximately two miles of the Olentangy River is designated as EWH within Franklin County. This area is currently receiving the greatest pressure for development within Franklin County’s portion of the watershed.

As a result, Ohio EPA has developed an alternative general permit for storm water associated with construction activity specific for portions of the Olentangy River watershed. This alternative permit implements many of the basic recommendations regarding the programs, activities and Best Management Practices developed through the Total Maximum Daily Load process. Ohio EPA believes implementation of these recommendations is necessary to protect the unique water quality and biological integrity of the Olentangy River watershed.

Ohio EPA’s Statewide Construction Storm Water General Permit (OHC000005) incorporates the Big Darby Creek watershed and Portions of the Olentangy River watershed requirements as appendices. These two watersheds’ previous specific alternative general permit conditions, that exceed the standard statewide conditions, have been included as appendices in OHC000005. This has combined all three general permits into one. 

Permit Compliance Materials

Related Documents

Activities that take place at industrial facilities, such as material handling and storage, are often exposed to storm water. The runoff from these activities discharges industrial pollutants into nearby storm sewer systems and water bodies.This may adversely impact water quality.

Eleven Categories of Storm Water Discharges Associated With Industrial Activity (U.S. EPA website)

Potential Waiver for Facilities with "No Exposure"

If you qualify for no exposure certification, you are exempt from permit requirements until your facility no longer qualifies for no exposure certification. If your facility changes and can no longer claim no exposure to storm water, you must submit the appropriate permit application for storm water discharge. The No Exposure Certification form must be submitted to Ohio EPA on the eBusiness Center at least once every five years.

For additional background information, see the following U.S. EPA documents:

Industrial Storm Water General Permit

OHR000006  Industrial Storm Water


What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?

A conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains):

  • Owned or operated by a public bodypicture of a waterpipe
  • Designed and used for collecting storm water
  • Is not a combined sewer
  • Is not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)

The U.S. EPA's storm water program addressed storm water runoff in two phases. Phase I addressed storm water runoff from large and medium MS4s. Large municipalities with a separate storm sewer system serving a population greater than 250,000 and medium municipalities with a service population between 100,000 and 250,000 had to obtain NPDES permits. Initial application deadlines for large and medium municipalities were November 16, 1992 and May 17, 1993, respectively. As part of their individual NPDES permit applications, the large and medium MS4s had to develop a storm water management program (SWMP).

Individual MS4 permits for discharge of storm water

The Phase II regulations address storm water runoff of MS4s serving populations less than 100,000, called small MS4s. More particularly, small MS4s located partially or fully within urbanized areas (UAs), as determined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and also on a case-by-case basis for those small MS4s located outside of UAs that Ohio EPA designates into the program. Automatically designated Small MS4s, those in UAs, were required to apply for permit coverage and develop and submit a SWMP by March 10, 2003.

Urbanized Areas

U.S. EPA developed a Fact Sheet [PDF 239K] explaining how urbanized areas affect water quality through increased runoff and pollutant loads and what homeowners can do to prevent storm water pollution.

Ohio EPA developed two general permits that were issued to Phase II Small MS4 communities under the first generation permitting in 2003. The Baseline General Permit allowed a full 5 years for SWMP development/implementation; whereas, the Alternative General Permit for MS4s Located within Rapidly Developing Watersheds required development/implementation of the Construction and Post-Construction minimum control measures within 3 years. The alternative general permit was issued to a select group of MS4s that Ohio EPA considered being located within rapidly developing watersheds. All MS4s will now be covered under the general permit renewal that was issued on January 31, 2009

USEPA developed a set of digitized maps which display detailed urbanized area maps. See the following link:image of a map

USEPA Urbanized Area Maps

Ohio EPA developed a set of digitized maps which display detailed area maps for watersheds that Ohio EPA has identified as being rapidly developing. See the following link:

Rapidly Developing Watersheds

Regulated Small MS4s

Small MS4 Informational Materials

Electronic Small MS4 Annual Report

Required for use by Small MS4 operators to submit annual reports. Small MS4 annual reports are due on April 1.

Regulated Small MS4s’ 2019 annual reports are due, on or before, April 1, 2020.  Beginning February 1, 2017 these reports can be submitted electronically via Ohio EPA’s eBusiness Center.  For a step-by-step walkthrough on entering and submitting the electronic report view the MS4 Annual Report Quick Guide.  If you have any questions on submitting your Small MS4 annual report electronically, please contact the following:

Anthony Robinson

Potential Funding Sources

Additional Storm Water Information

Storm Water Training & Outreach

The Ohio Stormwater Association (OSWA) is a group of public and private citizens dedicated to advancing the management of stormwater and related natural resources through education, leadership, watershed-based coordination and technical assistance in Ohio. OSWA provides educational and networking opportunities for people focused on reducing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff. The OSWA provides educational meetings on topics of interest to our members and sponsors the Ohio Stormwater Conference held each spring. This link will redirect you from Ohio EPA’s website to the OSWA website:

The Northeast Ohio Stormwater Training Council (NEOSWTC) was formed in 2008 to better coordinate stormwater related training and education opportunities for NPDES Phase 2 regulated communities across Northeast Ohio.  The Council is a consortium of organizations that educate, train and/or guide curriculum development on stormwater related issues.  The Council is comprised of more than 28 agencies and organizations whose members/employees are professionals specializing in various aspects of storm water regulations. The following Link will redirect you from Ohio EPA’s website to the NEOSWTC website:

Storm Water Videos

Tempest in a Channel: Storm Water Runoff’s Impact on Urban Streams

Tempest in a Channel: Storm Water Runoff’s Impact on Urban Streams is a 15-minute program that explains in general terms how the actions of private citizens can contribute to pollution of storm water runoff, and how increased areas of impervious surface that result from new development create increased volumes of runoff that have to be managed.

The video also discusses how “low-impact development” concepts can be incorporated into new construction projects to better manage the increased volumes of storm water runoff typically created from new development. Reducing the amount of runoff, or relying on existing natural features at a site, often can lead to cheaper, more effective storm water management strategies. In the short-term, costs are lowered because less piping or other infrastructure is required. Over the long-term, savings can be realized because fewer controls require less maintenance, and natural controls do not need to be replaced.

The Muck Stops Here: Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control Basics

Ohio EPA, in cooperation with the Summit Soil & Water Conservation District, produced an 11-minute video highlighting preferred approaches for pollution control from regulated construction projects. The Muck Stops Here: Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control Basics is a training tool that provides specific examples of effective practices seen at active construction sites. It targets local inspectors who enforce municipal storm water regulations and have a basic knowledge of sediment and erosion control requirements.

Any questions about the storm water program should be directed to the Central Office Storm Water Section or to the appropriate district office.

Central Office Storm Water Permitting Staff

Joseph, Michael


(614) 752-0782

Robinson, Anthony


(614) 728-3392

Fyffe, Jason


(614) 728-1793

Mathews, John

Section Manager

(614) 265-6685



District Office Storm Water Staff

Cooper, Marshall

Central District Office

(614) 728-3844

Bogoevski, Dan

Northeast District Office

(330) 963-1145

Hablitzel, Lynette

Northwest District Office

(419) 373-3009

Link to SEDO County Contacts

Southeast District Office

(740) 385-8501

Flanagan, Michelle

Southwest District Office                 

(937) 285-6440




Central Office Storm Water Technical Assistance Staff

Reinhart, Justin

Storm Water Engineer

(614) 705-1149

Sluga, Wesley Storm Water Engineer (614) 644-2141


Transportation Related Projects