News & Events

EPA Region 1 Administrator Signals that the MA & NH Small MS4 Stormwater Permits May Be Imminent

By Emily Scerbo, P.E.

If you are subject to EPA’s Small MS4 General Permit for Massachusetts or New Hampshire, you likely received a News Release from EPA Region 1 last week, EPA Announces Improvements to Keep Massachusetts Waters Clean (Massachusetts and New Hampshire versions are nearly identical). Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Although we don’t know what the result of the various ongoing legal challenges to the permits will be, EPA Region 1 is indicating that they will not be issuing another stay of the General Permit for Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Communities should plan for the effective date of July 1, 2018 with Notice of Intent applications due October 1, 2018.
  2. EPA’s “Updated MS4 Permit for Massachusetts/New Hampshire communities….” wording and link created some confusion, but there have been no changes to the final 2016 MA General Permit or the 2017 NH General Permit.
  3. EPA has created a nifty checklist for the first year of the permit (See MA checklist and NH checklist.). Note that if you are a newly regulated MS4, you have extra time for most of these requirements. See Section 1.10.3 in both permits.

It’s hard not to be jaded with this program’s fits and starts, especially after last year when EPA publicized the Postponement of the July 1, 2017 Effective Date for the Massachusetts permit on the day before the effective date. But, with less than two months until the permit is scheduled to take effect, and a public statement by EPA that it will not be delayed any further, it may finally be time to mobilize for Permit Year 1.

Emily Scerbo, P.E. is Tighe & Bond’s Senior Technical Specialist for Stormwater Management. She has worked with Massachusetts communities of all shapes and sizes with implementation of EPA’s Small MS4 General Permit since its inception in 2003. For more about Emily’s background, click here.