The Virginia Tech MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) Program aims to educate and promote awareness of the state's Stormwater Management Program.

Under the 1987 Clean Water Act Amendments, the United States. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed new regulations to address stormwater that might impact water quality. These new "Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System" (MS4) regulations are enforced by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

What is an MS4?

A Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is composed of a conveyance or system of conveyances:

  • Owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the United States.
  • Designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (including storm drains, pipes, ditches, etc.).
  • Not a combined sewer system.
  • Not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (sewage treatment plant).
  • MS4 pollution is considered to be “point source” pollution because pollutants are discharged from discrete storm sewer outfalls.

What is an Urbanized Area?

Learn more about how the Environmental Protection Agency defines and describes Urbanized Areas.

An urbanized area is a land area comprising one or more places, central place(s), and the adjacent densely settled surrounding area, urban fringe, that together have a residential population of at least 50,000 and an overall population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile. Virginia Tech is considered a regulated MS4 because it falls within the boundaries of an urbanized area.

What is an MS4 Program?

The MS4 Program consists of three parts (Section I, Section II, Section III). Section II, the primary focus of the VAR04 Permit, includes Minimum Control Measures (MCMs). The program must contain elements for each of the following MCMs:

  1. Public Outreach and Education
  2. Public Involvement/Participation
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. Construction Site Stormwater Runoff
  5. Post–Construction Stormwater Management
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping