MS4 general permit

Public Notice Regarding Issuance of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System MS4 General Permit

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reissued the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) State Disposal System (SDS) General Permit (MNR040000) for discharges of stormwater associated with small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) for the effective date of August 1, 2013.

Draft permit

The draft of this permit was open for public comment from May 21-July 23, 2012. The MPCA hosted a public information meeting to discuss the draft MS4 General Permit on Thursday, June, 21, 2012, at the MPCA St. Paul office located at 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.

The MS4 General Permit issued in 2006 addressed the new federal Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater regulations for small MS4s. These federal rules identified an iterative process for improved stormwater management where MS4 programs are strengthened with each five year permit cycle.

The draft MS4 General Permit was first placed on public notice May 31 through July 15, 2011. The MPCA held two public information meetings on the draft permit in June 2011; these meetings were webcast and the links are provided below. The MPCA received multiple requests to extend the public comment period on the draft permit, and subsequently extended the public notice comment period from August 8-29, 2011.

The MPCA received 35 comment letters and two contested case hearing requests on the draft permit. Staff reviewed and considered all comments received, and held four large group stakeholder meetings between December 2011 and March 2012, to discuss proposed concepts for revisions to the draft permit to address key permit issues identified in comments. Two of the four stakeholder meetings were webcast; the links are provided below. The draft permit was revised based in part on comments received and input obtained from the stakeholder meetings held on revisions to the draft permit, and is the subject of the public notice identified above.

MS4 permit history

The MPCA issued the original MS4 General Permit in June 2002. In July 2002, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) filed an appeal of the permit. MCEA alleged several deficiencies, including: the inappropriate use of general versus individual permits, failure to address non-degradation issues, and the lack of adequate public participation and monitoring requirements.

In March 2003, over 200 owners and operators of small MS4s in urbanized areas applied for general permits, and began or expanded existing programs and practices to reduce stormwater runoff.

On May 6, 2003, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the use of general permits and best management practices was appropriate, and that the monitoring required in the permit was adequate. The court also called for the opportunity for public comment and public hearing on each permittee’s proposed stormwater pollution prevention program, required the MPCA to determine if additional control measures are necessary if the permittee has new or expanded discharges, and ruled that the language of Minnesota’s permit must follow federal language and require permittees to “reduce” (instead of “minimize”) pollutants. The complete opinion is available on the Minnesota Court of Appeals Web site.

Revisions were made to the permit to address the courts’ ruling. A draft permit was placed on a 30-day public notice comment period that began February 28, 2005. The comment period was extended until April 15, 2005. Two public information meetings on the draft permit were held during the comment period.

Numerous written comments were received during the comment period. After reviewing and considering all comments received, the MPCA made additional revisions to the draft permit to clarify permit requirements.

On February 28, 2006, the MPCA Citizens’ Board denied a request for a contested case hearing and approved the revised permit. The first reissuance of the permit became effective June 1, 2006.

The MS4 General Permit issued in 2006 addressed the new federal Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater regulations for small MS4s. These federal rules identified an iterative process for improved stormwater management where MS4 programs are strengthened with each five year permit cycle. This current 2013 permit reissuance effort shifts from the initial focus on permit program development to measuring program implementation.

Comments on the 2011 draft permit

Comments on the 2012 draft permit

Draft permit and supporting documents

Permit reissuance schedule

(revised March 28, 2013)

Task

Date(s)

Gather stakeholder input; large group meeting and small work group meetings through April 2010.

Ongoing meetings with stakeholders on approach to TMDLs through January 2011.

January 2010 — January 2011

MPCA drafts permit

May 2010 — April 2011

Public notice draft permit

Extended public notice of draft permit

May 31, 2011

August 8-29, 2011

Review comments/hearing requests, identify major issues

Prepare for stakeholder discussions and meetings

August — mid-November 2011

Stakeholder meetings December 8 and 14, 2011, February 9 and March 29, 2012

December 2011 — March 2012

Respond to comments/requests

Revise draft permit based in part on comments received and discussions with stakeholders

Mid-November — May 2012

Public notice revised draft permit — 60 day comment period

May 21-July 23, 2012

Public Informational Meeting — MPCA Board Room and webcast

June 21, 2012 (1:00- 4:00 pm)

Respond to comments/requests, revise permit as needed

Fall 2012 — Winter 2013

MPCA Citizens’ Board — Information Item on MS4 Permit

September 25, 2012

MPCA staff written materials for the MS4 general permit decision item available on MPCA website

April 26, 2013

Last day to receive relevant written materials on the MS4 general permit decision item form interested parties

May 14, 2013

MPCA Citizens’ Board — Decision Item

May 21, 2013

Effective date new MS4 General Permit

August 1, 2013

Stakeholder and Work Group Meetings

As part of the permit reissuance process, the MPCA held stakeholder meetings to solicit input and gather feedback from stakeholders on the main issues that need to be addressed in this permit reissuance. Based on interest, a small group of stakeholders was formed to work through the issues in work group meetings.

Initial stakeholder input meeting (large group) - January 14, 2010

Stakeholder meeting dates (small work group):

  • March 3, 2010
  • March 17, 2010
  • April 6, 2010
  • April 23, 2010
  • April 29, 2010

The notes from these meetings have been compiled into one document below.

Permit Issues

Draft concepts to address the main issues were prepared and used to frame the work group discussions. Below is the list of main issues the MPCA plans to focus its' efforts on for this permit reissuance; and the meeting notes which contain the draft concepts for each issue, with stakeholder comments.

  • Impaired waters and total maximum daily loads
  • Construction stormwater erosion and sediment control
  • Post construction BMP operation and maintenance
  • Mapping your system
  • SWPPPs and coordination with local water plans
  • Non-degradation
  • One size does not fit all
  • Minimum control measure for education
  • PDF icon Permit Concepts and Issues Work Group Meeting Notes

Additional links

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