ms4 permit2


What is an MS4 Permit?

Did you know that your municipality has an MS4 permit?  The 
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program was 
administrated through the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) in 
1999.  Pennsylvania implemented state regulation of the MS4 
permit in 2003.  The underlying goal of the MS4 program is 
to prevent stormwater pollution from entering streams, lakes, 
ponds, rivers, etc.  Municipalities are required through the EPA 
and PA DEP to implement a stormwater management program 
comprising of 6 minimum control measures (MCMs).

MCM #1 Public Education and Outreach Program
Requirements are to educate the public on stormwater pollution 
and prevention.  Distribution of stormwater educational 
materials can occur through bulletin boards, newsletters, 
magazines, public meetings, Township’s webpage, and social 

MCM #2 Environmental Activities and Events
Requirements are to promote environmentally related activities 
for public participation.  Some examples are planting days, 
cleanup programs, storm drain stenciling, and collection events. 

MCM #3 Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination
Requirements are to develop, implement and enforce a program 
to detect and eliminate illicit non-stormwater discharges.  The 
program primarily consists of a storm sewer system map, an 
ordinance prohibiting illicit discharges, stormwater outfall 
screenings, and illicit discharge education.

MCM #4 Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
The goal of this MCM is to reduce stormwater pollution 
from construction sites disturbing one or more acres.  In 
Pennsylvania, Townships typically rely on PA DEP’s statewide 
program that requires the local county conservation district to 
undertake these tasks. 

MCM #5 Post Construction Stormwater Management
Half of these MCM requirements are fulfilled through the 
local county conservation district.  Encouraging low impact 
development, implementing an ordinance for post construction 
runoff, and enacting a program for operation and maintenance 
of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) are the 
Township’s responsibilities.

MCM #6 Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping
Educating and training Township staff to prevent and reduce 
stormwater pollution from municipal activities is the last MCM 
of the MS4 permit.  These municipal activities consist of but 
are not limited to winter road maintenance, salt storage, street 
sweeping, and lawn mowing.  The Township is required to 
develop written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each 
activity that can generate stormwater pollution.

These 6 MCMs not only rely on the Municipality for 
compliance, but cooperation and participation with its citizens 
to further advance the stormwater pollution prevention efforts.