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NPDES Permits in New England

Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit

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The 2016 Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit was signed April 4, 2016 and will become effective July 1, 2017. The final permit reflects modifications to the 2014 draft small MS4 general permit released for comment on September 30, 2014 and replaces the 2003 small MS4 general permit for MS4 operators within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The permit, appendices, and response to comment documents are available below.

Public meeting information:

The following informational sessions were held during May and June 2016 and the presentations can be downloaded below.

Western Massachusetts (Co-Sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission)
Date: May 9, 2016

Southeastern/Cape Cod Massachusetts (Co-sponsored by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Barnstable County Coastal Resources Committee, Cape Cod Commission and MassBays Program)
Date: May 18, 2016

Northeastern Massachusetts (Co-sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission)
Date: May 19, 2016

Central Massachusetts (Co-sponsored by the 495/MetroWest Partnership)
Date: May 24, 2016

Boston Area
Date: June 6, 2016

2016 Final Permit Documents

2010 Census and Designated MS4s

The Bureau of the Census has recently released new 2010 urbanized area data. These data indicate new or expanded urbanized areas in some communities, which may result in the requirement for permit coverage (for operators located in previously unregulated communities) or the expansion of coverage (for operators in currently regulated communities). For more information on MS4s (Traditional and non-traditional) within Massachusetts that are automatically designated and may require permit coverage see: MA regulated communities.

Permit Process

In order for a small MS4 operator to obtain authorization to discharge, it must submit a complete and accurate Notice of Intent (NOI) containing the information in Appendix E of the 2016 general permit. The NOI must be submitted on or before September 29, 2017 (90 days from the effective date of the final permit). A small MS4 operator must meet the eligibility requirements of the general permit found in Part 1.2 and Part 1.9 prior to submission of its NOI. A small MS4 operator will be authorized to discharge under the permit upon receipt of written notice from EPA following a public notice of the submitted NOI. EPA will authorize the discharge, request additional information, or require the small MS4 to apply for an alternative permit or an individual permit. NOIs may be submitted the following ways:

Electronically to EPA at stormwater.reports@epa.gov

or sent via regular or overnight mail to:
United States Environmental Protection Agency
 Stormwater and Construction Permits Section OEP 06-1
 5 Post Office Square - Suite 100
 Boston, Massachusetts 02109-3912 

A copy of the NOI shall also be sent to MassDEP at the following address:

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
One Winter Street – 5th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
ATTN: Frederick Civian, Stormwater Coordinator.

History

On May 1, 2003, EPA Region 1 issued its Final General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (2003 small MS4 permit) that covers "traditional" (i.e., cities and towns) and "non-traditional" (i.e., Federal and state agencies) MS4 Operators located in the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This permit expired on May 1, 2008 but remains in effect for authorized Operators until operators are authorized under the 2016 MS4 general permit.

During 2008 – 2010 EPA issued three separate draft Small MS4 General permits to replace the 2003 Small MS4 permit. One for eligible Operators located in the state of New Hampshire and two separate Massachusetts permits; one for Operators located in the North Coastal watershed and the other for those located in the Interstate, Merrimack and South Coastal watersheds.

The Notice of Availability of the draft General Permit for Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) located in North Coastal Massachusetts was published in the Federal Register on February 4, 2010 (See 75 FR 5788). This draft permit covers the North Coastal region, including but not limited to the watersheds of the Charles River and Neponset River.

The Notice of Availability of the draft General Permit for Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems located in the Interstate, Merrimack and South Coastal watersheds in Massachusetts was published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2010 (See 75 FR 67960). EPA held a public hearing on March 9, 2011 and the public comment period for the draft permit ended March 11, 2011. A Federal Register Notice describing the public hearing and the extension of the public comment period was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2011 (See 76 FR 8734). A transcript (PDF) (58 pp, 142 K) of the hearing in addition to copies of the written comments are available.

The 2014 Draft Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit was released for public comment on September 30, 2014 and the comment period ended February 27, 2015. EPA received over 150 unique comment letters and all comments can be downloaded below. The 2016 final Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit incorporates changes made in response to the comments received.

Information on Previous Permits and Draft Permits

2014 Draft Permit Documents

2003 Final General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small MS4s

Helpful Information and Links

EPA Contacts

Newton Tedder (tedder.newton@epa.gov), 617-918-1038

State Contacts

MassDEP
Frederick Civian (Frederick.Civian@state.ma.us), 617-292-5821

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