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NPDES MS4 Permitting

MS4 Overview

The NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) MS4 Program is mandated under the federal Clean Water Act and is delegated to DEMLR by the EPA. This program applies to owners and operators of MS4s (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems) located in US Census Bureau designated "urbanized areas". Permitted MS4s must develop and implement a comprehensive stormwater management program. The permits include measurable goals to satisfy each of the federally mandated six minimum control measures that are described on our Permittees & Permit Requirements web page.

If you have questions, contact Jeanette Powell, MS4 Program Coordinator at 919-707-3620.

Recent and Upcoming EPA Audits

EPA and their contractor audited Lenoir on September 26, 2018 and Asheville on September 27-28th.  The following communities are scheduled for EPA audits in December 2018:

  • Clemmons
  • High Point
  • Salisbury

No additional EPA audits are planned at this time.  However, program audits by DEMLR Stormwater staff will become a regular part of the MS4 Program (read more below).  

APWA Conference Presentations

What’s happening with the MS6 Program?

The Stormwater Program appreciates all of the thought and work that has been invested in the MS6 Program and wholeheartedly agrees with the goal of sustainability.  Therefore, DEMLR has decided to incorporate the objectives of MS6 into the entire MS4 program rather than offer two separate MS4 permitting programs. The three communities that have signed up for the MS6 Program to date have been informed of this change. 

Features of the Updated MS4 Program

Going forward, the MS4 Program will be more clear, consistent, collaborative and compliant.  The MS4 program will include:

  • Standardized tools for developing a flexible and compliant Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) and performing Annual Self Assessments (ASAs).
  • Training on tools, program requirements and compliance.
  • A streamlined audit and permit renewal process.
  • Standardized compliance audits performed on a five-year cycle.

As part of then new MS4 program, permittees will:

  • Develop and implement an approved Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP).
  • Complete and submit Annual Self Assessments using DEMLR's standard tool.
  • Be audited by DEMLR at least once every five years.
  • Participate collaboratively in the permit development and public comment process that will typically happen after the audit.
  • Have opportunities to share, mentor and collaborate with DEMLR and other MS4s.

Recently Issued MS4 Permits

On October 11, 2018, DEMLR issued the following MS4 permits:

  • Charlotte
  • Durham
  • Fayetteville
  • Greensboro
  • Raleigh
  • Winston-Salem
  • UNC-CH

These permits will be available to view on the MS4 Map Viewer by October 18, 2018.  Also, DEMLR has prepared a Summary of Comments and Responses on the 2018 Phase I MS4 Permit Renewals.