MS4 Permit: Watershed Improvement Plan & Public Participation

Source: NJDEP, Bureau of Stormwater Permitting

The 2023 Tier A Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection went into effect on January 1, 2023, and the implementation of its requirements on the local level will help address water quality and stormwater issues. Upgrading and retrofitting New Jersey’s stormwater infrastructure and reducing impervious cover is very important in our highly developed state. 

On April 11, 2023, the Green Infrastructure Committee met and New Jersey Future’s MGI Program Manager, Lindsey Sigmund, provided an overview of the MS4 permit. Highlights from the permit presentation include:

  • Over 100 towns that were previously considered Tier B have been reclassified as Tier A, and are now subject to federally regulated permitting obligations, which include more stringent requirements set forth in the Clean Water Act. 
  • The Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) permit requirement is aimed to address nonpoint pollution, which includes watershed mapping to help identify water quality improvement projects. 
  • The Public Participation and Outreach Program is focused on education regarding pollution prevention activities and involves the public in reducing stormwater pollutants. 
  • NJDEP recently announced the availability of $19 million in grants to assist all New Jersey municipalities comply with new MS4 permit requirements. Rolling application deadline is December 31, 2023. Read more about the NJDEP Notice of Funding Availability

To learn more about new MS4 permit requirements and draft model ordinances, check out the NJDEP website, this fact sheet created by New Jersey Future, and this presentation.

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