On August 1, 2015, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a new comprehensive Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit to NYC. This permit includes new requirements, which significantly expand the City’s obligation to reduce pollutants discharging to the MS4 system. The Permit requires NYC to develop a Storm water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), inform the public about water quality issues, update maps of the system, eliminate illegal discharges, control runoff during and after construction, identify sources of pollution, and control discharges from the MS4 system. The NYC MS4 system is located in the majority of Staten Island; the northeast, east and south portions of Queens; the south portion of Brooklyn; around Newtown Creek in Brooklyn and Queens; and scattered portions of the Bronx.

Water gushing from a stormwater drain or culvert with powerful force as it flows into a rock line drainage canal or waterway

To meet their Permit requirements, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began a 3-year process of preparing the SWPPP for submission to NYS DEC by Aug 2018. The DEP process includes a Storm Water Advisory Group that is working with the city in preparing the SWPPP; and a Developers/Technical Experts Stakeholders group reviewing the lot size requiring permits from DEP for construction and post-construction storm water control.

Robert A. LoPinto, PE, a Senior Project Manager at Walden Environmental Engineering, is a member of the Developers/Technical Experts Stakeholders group. This group met on December 2nd, and reviewed the work DEP and other City agencies have produced regarding Permits for construction and post-construction storm water control. The group is assisting the DEP in determining the size of development in a MS4 system area that will require a Permit and compliance with control requirements. The lot sizes being considered are considerably less than 1 acre (less than 43,560 square feet), the current threshold for Storm Water Permits. Group members are currently responding to a Cost Analysis Survey, and will be meeting again in February 2017. Eventually, the DEP will need to issue Rules/Regulations implementing the Permit requirements, which will affect development in the MS4 areas of the City. This information will also need to be incorporated in the City’s SWPPP.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Please give Walden Environmental Engineering a call at (516) 624-7200 if you have any questions, or if you would like to know further how these changes may affect you or your company.