EPA Issues NPDES MS4 Final Remand Rule in Response to Lawsuit

EPA has developed its Final NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Remand Rule that revises its regulations governing regulated MS4 permits in response to a lawsuit by the Environmental Defense Center in the U.S. Court of Appeals.  The court determined that the regulations for small MS4 general permits did not provide for adequate public notice and opportunity to request a hearing, and failed to require a permitting authority review of best management practices to ensure the reduction of pollutants in discharge from the permittee’s systems to the “maximum extent practicable” to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.  This final rule establishes two alternative approaches a permitting authority can use to issue NPDES small MS4s permits and meet the requirements of the court remand, but does not establish any new substantive requirements for small MS4 permits.  The final rule will become effective on January 9, 2017.  For more information, visit EPA’s website.