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Member Pipeline

DC MS4 Permit Appeal


DC MS4 Permit Appeal

In November 2012, EPA Region III issued the final revised MS4 permit for Washington, DC.  The permit is one of the most aggressive stormwater permits issued to any municipality in the country and contains a number of concerning elements, including an on-site retention standard of 1.2. inches of rainfall for all new development and redevelopment projects of 5,000 square feet or more, as well as a retrofit requirement to address areas of existing impervious surface.  NACWA previously commented icon-pdf on the draft permit issued in April 2010, as well as on the revised permit icon-pdf in September 2012.

The permit was originally finalized in October 2011.  But in November 2011, challenges to the permit were filed by both environmental activist and utility groups.  The activist challenge was settled by EPA in May 2012, and as a result the permit was revised with respect to a number of key issues. Among other things, the revised permit addressed TMDL implementation issues and reporting requirements for SSOs that might reach the MS4.  All challenges to the permit have been resolved, and the District of Columbia is now focused on implementing the permit.

NACWA participated in litigation over the previous MS4 permit for Washington, DC issued in 2004 along with a number of other municipal organizations.  The earlier legal challenge focused on the permit’s failure to contain effluent limits adequate to assure compliance with water quality standards.  NACWA, the National League of Cities (NLC), the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA), the Wet Weather Partnership (WWP), the West Virginia Municipal League (WVML), and the Virginia Municipal League (VML) entered the case to protest the inclusion of numeric limits in MS4 permits.



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