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.

According to Ohio EPA, these sewers require permits because they can carry pollutants from parking lots, streets, sidewalks, lawns and rooftops into local rivers.  Typical pollutants 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.

A fact sheet about the draft general permit and a copy of the draft general permit itself are available at Ohio EPA’s website by following this link:  MS4 Draft General Permit

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. 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.

Kathy Milenkovski is an energy and environmental lawyer. She helps clients comply with complex state and federal regulatory programs and represents clients in litigation, appearing in administrative, state and federal courts.
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