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Trash Free Waters

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System

As stormwater flows over streets and other impervious surfaces, it sweeps up pollutants such as oils, chemicals, pathogens and sediments. In separate sewer areas, this pollution is carried by stormwater runoff and discharged directly into the City’s waterways. This can have a negative impact on water quality and recreational uses.

A Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is any conveyance or system of conveyances (including but not limited to streets, ditches, catch basins, curbs, gutters, and storm drains) that is:

  • owned by a municipality or other public body (created under state law) having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, stormwater or other wastes;
  • designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater;
  • not a combined sewer (i.e., not intended for both sewage and stormwater); and
  • not part of a publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received its first citywide MS4 permit required under the Clean Water Act on August 01, 2015. The intent of this permit is to manage urban sources of stormwater runoff to protect and improve water quality. The full permit is linked below.

Accordingly, New York City is currently developing a citywide Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) Plan that addresses each of the following elements:

  • Public Education and Outreach
  • Public Involvement/Participation
  • Mapping
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Stormwater Management
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations and Facilities
  • Industrial Stormwater Sources
  • Control of Floatables and Settleable Trash and Debris
  • Monitoring and Assessment of Controls

MS4 Fact Sheets

MS4 Permit Deliverables

On November 16th, 2016 , the New York City Council introduced Intro. 1346-2016 to provide the City authority to act in a regulatory capacity to oversee and/or enforce requirements regarding activities that have the potential to contribute pollutants to stormwater runoff and the water bodies surrounding the City. To view the draft legislation, please visit the NYC Council website.

Public Events

Goal: Ensure that the Interagency Team, NYSDEC, Environmental Stakeholders, other Relevant Stakeholders and the General Public (Stormwater Advisory Group) are briefed on each provision of the SWMP before the first draft is complete in June 2017.

ScheduleSAG Presentation
SWIM/Environmental Organizations
Stormwater Advisory Group (SAG)
Construction and Post-Construction Interagency: Oct. 20, 2016 DEC: Dec. 1, 2016
SWIM: Dec. 8, 2016
SAG: Dec. 13, 2016 - Hostos College (Bronx)
SWIM/Environmental Organizations
Stormwater Advisory Group
Mapping, Illicit Discharge Dectection and Elimination, and Monitoring Interagency: Jan. 19, 2017
DEC: Feb. 1, 2017
SWIM: Feb. 15, 2017
**SAG: Winter 2017
SWIM/Environmental Organizations
Trash Free Waters (TFW)
Floatables and Public Education & Outreach Interagency: March 29, 2017
DEC: April 5, 2017
SWIM: April 13, 2017
**TFW: Spring 2017
SWIM/Environmental Organizations
Stormwater Advisory Group (SAG)
2016 Stormwater Management Program Progress Report **SAG: Spring 2017  
SWIM/Environmental Organizations
Stormwater Advisory Group (SAG)
Industrial and Commercial Stormwater Sources and Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations and Facilities-H.2 Interagency: May 25, 2017
DEC: June 1, 2017
SWIM: June 8, 2017
**SAG: Summer 2017
** Check DEP's EventBrite page for event information on public meetings (SAG/TFW).
Note: The Interagency, DEC and SWIM/Enviro meetings are not open to the public.
Other meetings not listed: Community Boards/Elected Officials, Environmental Organizations (Upon Request), Floatables Media Campaign Development.

Past Events


Stormwater Advisory Meeting (SAG)
December 13, 2016, 6:30pm–8:30pm


Stormwater Advisory Meeting (SAG)
September 27, 2016, 2:00–4:00pm

Trash Free Waters Working Group (TFW)
September 27, 2016, 4:00–6:00pm


MS4 Progress Report Public Meeting


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