Storm Water Management--Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed regulations for managing stormwater under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program which addresses water pollution by regulating the many different sources (industrial, agricultural, etc.) that discharge pollutants. The program is administered by state governments, in Pennsylvania by the Department of Environmental Protection. The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program regulates stormwater from municipalities that discharge into the Spring Creek watershed. To prevent harmful pollutants from being washed or dumped into this storm sewer system, operators must obtain an NPDES permit and develop a stormwater management program.
Several municipalities are partners in the Spring Creek Watershed MS4 program. They are State College Borough, College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton Townships, and Penn State University. The program involves six minimum control measures. Two measures involve public education and public involvement, in effect instructing the public about what not to deposit in storm sewers. Two measures involve construction and post-construction runoff management, and two involve illicit discharge detection and elimination, which are methods of enforcing the first four. Plans to implement these measures must be documented and submitted to the EPA and must be renewed every five years.
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