MS4 20 Year Anniversary
2022 marks 20 years since the City of Springfield received its first Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). The federal Clean Water Act requires communities nationwide to obtain an MS4 permit and implement a program to address stormwater pollution. These federal stormwater regulations are implemented at a state level by MDNR. Locally, the City and watershed partners were proactive in recognizing and implementing measures such as the 1999 Water Quality Protection Policy to address stormwater pollution ahead of these regulations. Springfield also became the first community in the state to work through the application process with MDNR and receive its MS4 permit in 2002.
As any MS4 community can attest, developing a program to address all the components of the MS4 regulations is a long journey that typically starts with inventory and mapping of the stormwater system to understand how it is all connected and where it discharges to waterways. Public education is also important to implement early on to spread awareness about the connection of storm drains to waterways and the potential impact of daily actions on the quality of stormwater runoff. Over time, communities must adopt appropriate local codes to prevent unlawful discharges of pollution to the stormwater system and implement requirements for specific sources of stormwater pollution including construction sites, development, and industries. Springfield’s MS4 program has grown to include all these components over time, including the adoption of a water quality requirement for redevelopment in early 2022.
In May of this year, the City’s MS4 permit was renewed by MDNR which begins the next 5-year cycle of MS4 activities. The MS4 program is guided by a required Stormwater Management Plan that includes the best management practices and measurable goals that the City is implementing to meet the permit requirements. Submittal of an annual report is one of the permit requirements and serves as an opportunity to highlight the program’s many accomplishments in water quality protection as well as the contributions of other departments who also play a role in stormwater pollution prevention. The City’s MS4 Stormwater Management Plan and 2022 MS4 Annual Report are available at https://www.springfieldmo.gov/2147/Regulation-Resources.
Water Quality Compliance Officer
290 E Central St, Springfield, MO 65802