Stormwater Management Committee Discusses Hot MS4 Topics

(September 18, 2019) – NACWA’s Stormwater Management Committee held a conference call September 16 to discuss a variety of current issues for the municipal storm sewer system (MS4) community.

In particular, the committee heard updates on the ongoing stormwater litigation happening in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as a recent hearing on Oregon’s MS4 Phase II General Permit. Both cases deal with overly prescriptive permits that contain provisions which exceed the traditional maximum extent practicable (MEP) standard granted to municipal stormwater permittees under the Clean Water Act.

In addition, the stormwater management committee discussed recent legislation, including Save Our Seas 2.0 (Senate Bill 2260). As drafted, the legislation could have significant impacts on MS4 programs to mitigate trash and post-consumer materials from entering waterways via regulatory requirements that would be incorporated into MS4 permits. NACWA continues to work to address these concerns with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as it moves to mark this up towards the end of the month.

NACWA also asked committee members for input on the Association’s work to build a stormwater permit screening tool that will review draft MS4 Phase II permits as they are introduced and provide high level feedback and potential areas of concern for permittees. As permits continue to become more complex, this screening tool will flag problematic language and assist municipalities in their engagement efforts with state regulatory agencies before permits become final.

If members have questions or would like to join the Stormwater Management Committee, please contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.