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Since the passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the quality of our Nation’s waters has improved dramatically. Despite this progress, however, degraded waterbodies still exist. According to the 2000 National Water Quality Inventory, a biennial summary of State surveys of water quality, approximately 40 percent of surveyed U.S. waterbodies are still impaired by pollution and do not meet water quality standards. A leading source of this impairment is polluted runoff. In fact, according to the Inventory, 13 percent of impaired rivers, 18 percent of impaired lake acres, and 32 percent of impaired estuaries are affected by urban/suburban stormwater runoff.

The Stormwater Phase II Final Rule is the next step in EPA’s effort to preserve, protect, and improve the Nation’s water resources from polluted stormwater runoff. Phase II is intended to further reduce adverse impacts to water quality and aquatic habitat by instituting the use of controls on the unregulated sources of stormwater discharges that have the greatest likelihood of causing continued environmental degradation. Operators of small Municipal Stormwater Systems (MS4s), such as WVU, are required to apply for NPDES permit coverage and to implement stormwater discharge management controls (known as “best management practices” (BMPs). WVU has applied for covered under the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) General Permit by submission of a Notice Of Intent (NOI).

Stormwater discharges from MS4s in urbanized areas are a concern because of the high concentration of pollutants found in these discharges. Concentrated development in urbanized areas substantially increases impervious surfaces, such as city streets, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks, on which pollutants from concentrated human activities settle and remain until a storm event washes them into nearby storm drains. Common pollutants include pesticides, fertilizers, oils, salt, litter and other debris, and sediment. Another concern is the possible illicit connections of sanitary sewers, which can result in fecal coliform bacteria entering the storm sewer system. Stormwater runoff picks up and transports these and other harmful pollutants then discharges them – untreated – to waterways via storm sewer systems. When left uncontrolled, these discharges can result in fish kills, the destruction of spawning and wildlife habitats, a loss in aesthetic value, and contamination of drinking water supplies and recreational waterways that can threaten public health.

Small MS4 Requirements Overview

A regulated small MS4 operator must develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants from their MS4 to the “maximum extent practicable,” to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the CWA. The rule assumes the use of narrative, rather than numeric, effluent limitations requiring implementation of BMPs.

The small MS4 stormwater management program must include the following six minimum control measures: public education and outreach; public participation/involvement; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site runoff control; post-construction runoff control; and pollution prevention/good housekeeping.

A regulated small MS4 operator must identify its selection of BMPs and measurable goals for each minimum measure in the permit application. The evaluation and assessment of those chosen BMPs and measurable goals must be included in periodic reports to the WVDEP.

We Need Your Help!

For WVU’s Stormwater Management Program to be successful we need public support and participation in the development, implementation, and updating of our program. This web page is only the first step in inviting and involving your participation. Remember, this is about YOUR environment and its stewardship, please get involved! You can get started by reviewing information provided on this and other stormwater related web sites, providing feedback on our program development and implementation, and participating in other public opportunities to get involved as WVU makes these available in the very near future.

For comments, suggestions, or questions you can contact our Stormwater Management Program Committee by use of our following form or by emailing Brian Lemme, Stormwater Specialist for WVU Environmental Health and Safety, at Please check back often as updates to this web page will be on-going!

Thanks for your interest and support. We look forward to working with you in making Morgantown’s environment even better!