As of July 1, Massachusetts and New Hampshire municipalities must seek coverage by new general stormwater permits, the first since 2003.
Affected communities have until October 1 to submit formal notices of intent to seek coverage under the permits.
In each state, there are 3 general permits for small Municipal Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). One of these governs local governments. The EPA adopted the new permits in 2016 with a 2017 effectiveness date, but subsequent lawsuits delayed effectiveness by another year.
The permits regulate the discharge of stormwater in urban areas and in other areas designated by the EPA. They generally apply to drains and systems that collect and discharge stormwater into water bodies.
Municipalities under the permits must also, by June 30 of 2019, write a stormwater management plan and address illicit discharges, regular catch basin cleaning, and maintenance of stormwater infrastructure.
Some 250 communities in Massachusetts, and 60 in New Hampshire, are affected by the new permits. NEIWPCC is offering an MS4 workshop for Massachusetts local officials on August 27 that will be repeated on September 17.
The lawsuits are currently under court-approved mediation. According to the EPA, the main issues of contention involve requirements and costs that will not come into play for years.
The 2003 permits were joint permits for both states.
iWR • July 2018 • To front page