A municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) is a publicly-owned conveyance or system of conveyances (including but not limited to streets, ditches, catch basins, curbs, gutters, and storm drains) that is designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater and that discharges to surface waters of the State. Separate storm sewers carry stormwater runoff directly to local waterbodies and serve approximately 30–40% of New York City.
As stormwater flows over streets and other impervious surfaces, it sweeps up pollutants such as oils, chemicals, pathogens, and sediments. In separate sewer areas, this pollution is carried by stormwater and discharged directly into local waterways. This can have a negative impact on water quality and recreational uses.
MS4 Permit & Deliverables
The City of New York received its first Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) PermitPermit on August 1, 2015. This permit is required under the Clean Water Act and is issued by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The intent of the MS4 permit is for the City to implement measures to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff. The MS4 Permit significantly expands the City’s previous obligations to reduce pollutants discharging to the MS4. Numerous City agencies have significant responsibilities under the MS4 Permit. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for coordinating the interagency efforts to meet the City’s MS4 Permit requirements.
The MS4 Permit requires the City to submit several written deliverables to the DEC. For a complete list of deliverables, please review the full MS4 Permit.
The 2019 MS4 Annual Report includes information on SWMP implementation from January 1 to December 31, 2019.
The 2018 Annual Report includes information on SWMP implementation during the reporting period from August 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.
Submission of the complete draft SWMP Plan, including all components identified in Parts II.B, III.A through D, and IV. Introduction and IV.A through J (Part IV. Introduction)
Annual reports on the Sentinel Monitoring Program with sampling results and information on field investigations. The reports also include information on unauthorized non-stormwater discharges.
Proposal for programs to meet the MS4 permit requirement to reduce pollutants in impaired waters.
Draft Work Plan to determine the loading rate of floatable and settleable trash and debris discharged from the MS4.
Updated description of the City’s legal authority to control discharges to the MS4. This description includes details on Local Law 97 of 2017 which consolidates, clarifies, and supplements existing legal authority, to enable the City to act in a regulatory capacity to control pollutant discharges to and from its MS4.
Progress reports on the development of the SWMP Plan, including public involvement/participation components.
Progress reports on the development of the SWMP Plan, including public involvement/ participation components.
Description of existing legal authority to control discharges to the MS4.
Submit certification that an interim floatable and settleable trash and debris reduction media campaign has been developed with implementation schedule.
Stormwater Management Program Plan
The MS4 Permit requires the City to develop a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP), which includes numerous programs designed to reduce pollution in stormwater.
The SWMP Plan describes the ways in which the City will satisfy the requirements of the MS4 Permit by managing stormwater discharges into and from the City’s separate storm sewers. Most chapters of the Plan include a description of any relevant existing City programs; new initiatives and/or program enhancements; and measureable goals for future assessment of the program.
The SWMP Plan was released to the public on April 4, 2018. The public was invited to submit comments on the SWMP Plan from April 4 through May 15, 2018. DEP also held two stakeholder meetings during the public comment period to provide background on the Plan and to accept verbal comments from meeting attendees. On August 1, 2018, DEP submitted NYC’s SWMP Plan to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). On March 14, 2019, DEC approved the SWMP Plan.
MS4 Construction Permits
Construction permits that may be necessary if your project is located in or near the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) area of New York City.
Industrial & Commmercial Facilities
If you own or operate an industrial or commercial facility in the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) area of New York City, your facility may be inspected or have to submit copies of certain paperwork to DEP.