MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System.
The United States Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue further regulations to identify and regulate additional storm water discharges that were considered to be contributing to national water quality impairments. On December 8, 1999, the EPA issued regulations that expanded the existing NPDES Storm Water Program to include discharges from small MS4s in “urbanized areas” serving populations of less than 100,000 and storm water discharges from construction activities that disturb more than one acre of land. These regulations are referred to as the NPDES Phase II Storm Water Program. The urbanized area portion of Lake County met these criteria and was consequently designated as an MS4 entity. In the State of Indiana, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is responsible for the development and oversight of the NPDES Phase II Program.
IDEM initiated adoption of the Phase II Rules which was codified as 327 IAC 15-13 (Rule 13). Rule 13 became effective on August 6, 2003 and requires designated MS4 entities to apply for permit coverage by submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) and developing Storm Water Quality Management Plans (SWQMPs) through a phased submittal process. The IDEM’s phased submittal requirements includes the implementation of a Storm Water Quality Management Plan which was approved on March 1, 2005.
What can the public do to help reduce storm water pollution?
Storm water runoff can come from several different surfaces, such as:
- Pavements (Concrete & Asphalt)
Some of the common things that can generate storm water pollution are:
- Improper disposal of trash and recyclables
- Improper disposal of pet waste
- Lawn chemicals (i.e. fertilizer, weed killer, etc.)
- Washing cars
- Motor oil
- This can be from a leaking vehicle or equipment
- Improper disposal of leftover paint and chemicals
It takes individual behavior change and proper practices to help control such pollution. As a community, if we are able to reduce or prevent storm water pollution, we are not only helping our local environment, but the environments down stream from us. This will help ensure a safer environment for future generations.
The “Notice of Intent”, “Baseline Characterization”, and “Storm Water Quality Management Plan (SWQMP)” are all on file at the New Chicago Town Hall, 122 Huber Blvd, Hobart, IN 46342.
How can you help keep the drains running?
If you have a storm drain in front of your property, please help us keep it clean by removing leaves, grass clippings, and other debris from around the drain. By keeping it cleaned off, the water will be able to more easily enter the storm water system and help control some flooding issues.
Storm Water Contact Info:
Storm Water Coordinator
Town Hall #: 219-962-1157
Office #: 219-963-6578
More information on MS4 can be found by clicking here.