I am in an MS4 regulated area, do I need to apply for NYS DEC Permits?

As defined in the NYS Stormwater Management Guidance for Local Officials, the term Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4):

“includes both municipal and non-municipal systems of underground pipes, and also systems of streets and roads with drainage, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels or storm drains, whether or not the system is owned by a municipality.”

Each municipality that is designated as an MS4 should develop the laws/regulations which must include, at a minimum, the requirements as specified in the State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities (GP 0-010-001), for controlling site erosion and post-construction stormwater runoff . The six Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) that must be included for MS4 compliance are:

  1. Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts
  2. Public Involvement/Participation
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
  4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
  5. Post-Construction Stormwater Management
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations

The MS4 designation and the General Permit allow local municipalities to regulate stormwater runoff, along with other local land use controls. Therefore, the answer to the question is yes.

MCM 6, Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations, identifies additional requirements specific for the operation and maintenance of a municipality’s infrastructure that each municipality should be aware of. For any work the municipality intends on performing that exceeds the threshold for land disturbance of 1-acre or greater (see NOTES below), the requirements of the General Permit for Construction Activities (GP-0-010-001) would apply, with the goal to reduce erosion and sediment runoff. Stream disturbances, such as culvert replacements, may require the submission of a Joint Application to the NYSDEC and the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE).

Resources

NYS Stormwater Management Guidance Manual for Local Officials (PDF)

NYSDEC/ACOE Joint Application (PDF)

SPDES GP-0-010-001: General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity (PDF)

SPDES GP-0-010-002: General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) (PDF)

SPDES MSGP 0-06-002: Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities (PDF)

Notes

  1. As of May 2008 the Joint Application was revised to include a form giving the DEC permission to inspect the property on which work is being performed. In addition, all involved agencies must receive a Separate Permit application form; the NYSDEC is no longer forwarding the applications to the (ACOE). Since the work load of the ACOE does not always allow for a response to each submission, it is recommended that applications being sent to the ACOE be sent by certified mail to provide documentation to the submission. This may be particularly important for projects that have been funded with public money; documentation of this submission may be required during the auditing process prior to the distribution of the funds.
  2. The maximum allowable disturbance area is less than one acre in several MS4 designated areas, especially East of the Hudson River. Refer to the NYSDEC Stormwater interactive map
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