According to the federal law commonly known as Stormwater Phase II, permits are required for stormwater discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in urbanized areas and those additionally designated by the Department. Owners or operators of such MS4s must be authorized in accordance with the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.
This page contains information and reference material that will aid in the implementation of a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) and provide assistance in meeting the permit and program requirements.
Program Assistance Documents
Stormwater Assessment and Design Modeling Tools (Appendix D) (PDF) (326 KB) - The document summarizes modeling tools that may be used to implement NYS stormwater design standard requirements and assess MS4 Stormwater Management Plans.
Local School District Decision Tree for MS4 Designation - Information will help a school district evaluate its MS4 designation
Decision Tree for MS4 Waiver I (PDF) (16 KB) - The document will help MS4s evaluate eligibility for Waiver I.
MS4 Program Reporting by Year Checklist (PDF) (77 KB) - This checklist outlines all activities and/or tasks that a required under the General Permit to be reported during specific permit term years (i.e. first, second, or third year). This checklist is intended to be used as a tool for any regulated traditional land use control MS4 and not to replace the requirements outline in the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit (GP-0-15-003).
MS4 Program Activities Timeline (PDF) (124 KB) - This timeline outlines start and end dates for specific activities and tasks during the first three years of developing a Stormwater Management Program and Plan. It is meant to be used as a tool for any regulated traditional land use control MS4 and not to replace the requirements outline in the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit (GP-0-15-003).
Census Blocks with Population List (Excel) (4.78 MB) - This spreadsheet provides the population, based on the 2010 Census, of every census block within the Automatically Designated Boundaries of New York State. This list will help determine the total population within a municipality's Automatically Designated Boundary when evaluating eligibility for a waiver.
Reference and Google Earth Maps
Google Earth map of Impaired Waterbodies Applicable to MS4s (requires Google Earth to be installed on your computer) - This map highlights impaired waterbodies that are applicable to the waiver eligibility criteria.
Owner/operators may use this reference tool to determine if their MS4 (system) discharges into an impaired waterbody listed on the Priority Waterbodies List (PWL) in order to make a determination about waiver eligibility. Discharge to the impaired waterbodies listed on this map does not necessarily subject the MS4 to the requirements for discharges to an impaired waterbody (Part III.B of GP-0-15-003). The owner/operator should review Appendix 2 of the general permit (GP-0-15-003) to confirm permit requirements, as well as, verify the information in this map with the NYS Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List.
Google Earth map of Estimated Populations within Automatically Designated Areas for MS4s (requires Google Earth to be installed on your computer) - This is a map of the Automatically Designated Areas in NYS identified by the U.S. Census Bureau. The map includes estimated populations (based on the 2010 U.S. Census Data) within the Automatically Designated Areas for MS4s. It is the responsibility of the municipality to determine the true population within the Automatically Designated Area by using information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Census. The instructions, Decision Tree for MS4 Waiver Criteria (PDF) (966 KB) and the map may be used to to help MS4s to their eligibility for a waiver.
MS4 Reference Map Books of Urbanized and Additionally Designated Areas - These map books highlight the 2000 and 2010 urbanized area boundary, and the additionally designated boundaries.
Visit DEC's Google Maps and Earth web page for general information about Google Earth and for instructions on how to download Google Earth.
The following videos are intended to help MS4 owner/operators understand their eligibility for a waiver form, determine the true population within the Automatically Designated Areas, and help them to complete the waiver form. All video links go to DEC's YouTube Videos.
Part I - Tutorial on how to determine eligibility for a MS4 Waiver. Please use the Supplemental Material Part I (PDF) (19 KB) for links and information provided in guidance video.
- Determining Eligibility for MS4 Waiver video - guides MS4 owner/operator to determine their eligibility for a waiver form, how to apply for a waiver form, and an overview of the approval process.
Part II - Tutorial on how to determine the true population within the Automatically Designated Area for municipalities subject to the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). Please use the Supplemental Material Part II (PDF) (45 KB) for links and information provided in guidance video.
- Step 1, Getting Started Video - guides MS4 owner/operator to gather and open the needed forms, maps, and websites.
- Step 2, Determining Census Blocks and Census Tracks video - guides MS4 owner/operator how to identify the census blocks and census tracks in their Automatically Designated Area.
- Step 3, Determining Population - guides MS4 owner/operator how to determine the population in their Automatically Designated Area using 2010 US Census data and how to enter the data in the waiver form.
Overview of the Minimum Control Measures (MCM)
The permit requires development of a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) that includes the six required program components, or the six minimum control measures (MCMs).
1. Public Education and Outreach
This includes the distribution of educational materials and outreach activities that inform the public about the impacts of polluted stormwater runoff can have on water quality.
2. Public Participation/Involvement
Provide opportunities for citizens to participate in the development, implementation, review and revision of the stormwater management program. This includes publicizing public hearings and encouraging citizens participate in the stormwater management program process.
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Develop, implement and enforce a plan to detect and eliminate illicit discharges. This includes developing and maintaining a map of outfall locations and their receiving waterbodies, mapping the storm sewershed, prohibit illicit discharges through laws or ordinances, and inform the public about the hazards associated with illegal discharges and the improper disposal of waste.
4. Construction Site Runoff Control
Develop, implement and enforce an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities that disturb greater than or equal to one acre of land.
5. Post-construction Runoff Control
Develop, implement and enforce a plan that addresses stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment projects and incorporates enforceable mechanisms. Applicable controls could include preventative actions (e.g., protecting sensitive areas) or the use of structural controls (e.g., grassed swales or porous pavement).
6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Develop and implement a program to prevent or reduce pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and activities to reduce the amount of pollutants in stormwater (e.g., regular street sweeping, reduce the use of pesticides or street salt, or frequent cleaning of catch-basins).
More about MS4 Toolbox:
- Watershed Improvement Strategy Guidance - Retrofit Program Plan Guidance Document for Pathogen Impaired Watershed MS4s on Long Island
- MS4 Maps - Stormwater Regulatory Map Books of MS4 areas
- Stormwater Management Guidance Manual for Local officials (September, 2004) - Guidance for local officials on complying with state and federal stormwater management requirements, Minimum Measures 4 and 5
- Resources for Newly Designated MS4s - Information about NYSDEC's Stormwater Management program
- Local School District Decision Tree for MS4 Determination - Information about MS4 designation.