MDE Announces MS4 Permits for Four Large Counties

MDE recently announced new Phase I MS4 permits for Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Montgomery Counties and Baltimore City. 

The Maryland Department of Environment recently announced Phase I municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits for four of the state’s largest counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Montgomery Counties and Baltimore City. The permits will help reduce pollution headed into the Cheseapeake Bay and are a key part of the bay restoration program. The permits are issued under the federal Clean Water Act.

According to MDE: 

“Aggressive and achievable stormwater requirements for large Maryland jurisdictions are a critical part of our comprehensive, science-based plan for restoring the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “MDE’s new municipal stormwater permits, along with our new climate action plan and innovative financing strategies for stormwater management, will help prevent stormwater pollution, reduce flooding and increase climate resiliency and equity to help ensure healthy watersheds and a green and growing Maryland economy.”

As climate change becomes an ever present reality, the MS4 permits play an everymore important role in environmental preservation and pollution reduction. Larger amounts of excess rain mean more polluted run off entering Maryland’s ecosystem and flooding communities;

The permits require local jurisdictions to maintain previous stormwater pollution reduction efforts. They also require additional  stormwater pollution reduction, including restoring impervious surface areas that have little or no stormwater treatment with green infrastructure and other techniques. . . .

In the next five years the new permits add another 11,000 acres to the 35,000 impervious acres restored under prior permits. This restoration encourages climate resiliency and green infrastructure even as it continues to advance innovations such as pay-for-performance contracting, public-private partnerships, and new technologies. The permits also include new incentives for climate resiliency and green infrastructure projects.

Read more about new the new Phase I MS4 permits from MDE. 

Read MDE’s report, “Advancing Stormwater Resiliency in Maryland,” to learn about modernizing stormwater management in Maryland.