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Jamaica Bay, Natural Resources

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System

A municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) is a publicly-owned conveyance or system of conveyances (including but not limited to streets, ditches, catch basins, curbs, gutters, and storm drains) that is designed or used for collecting or conveying stormwater and that discharges to surface waters of the State.

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.

MS4 Permit

The City of New York received its first citywide MS4 permit on August 1, 2015. This permit is required under the Clean Water Act and is issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The intent of the MS4 permit is to manage urban sources of stormwater runoff to protect and improve water quality.


MS4 Permit Deliverables

The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit requires the City to submit several written deliverables to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Key submitted deliverables are available below. For a complete list of deliverables, please review the full MS4 permit.

Deliverable Description Permit Provision Permit Deadline
Trash Free NYC Waters Submit certification that an interim floatable and settleable trash and debris reduction media campaign has been developed with implementation schedule Part IV.I November 1, 2015
Legal Authority Submission Description of existing legal authority to control discharges to the MS4 Part III.B.1.a February 1, 2016
Progress reports on the development of the SWMP Plan, including public involvement/ participation components Part IV. Introduction August 1, 2016
Progress reports on the development of the SWMP Plan, including public involvement/ participation components Part IV. Introduction August 1, 2017
Updated description of the City’s legal authority to control discharges to the MS4. This description includes details on Local Law 97 of 2017 which consolidates, clarifies, and supplements existing legal authority, to enable the City to act in a regulatory capacity to control pollutant discharges to and from its MS4 Part III.B.1 August 1, 2017
Draft Work Plan to determine the loading rate of floatable and settleable trash and debris discharged from the MS4 Part IV.1.3 August 1, 2017

Stormwater Management Program (SWMP)

The City of New York is developing a citywide Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) to help reduce the pollution reaching local waterways through the MS4. The SWMP will address each of the following elements:


Public Meetings

To provide all stakeholders with multiple opportunities to comment on the Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) as it is developed, DEP holds frequent meetings with other agencies, NYSDEC, key stakeholders and the general public.

The meetings listed below are open to the general public and seek to brief all stakeholders on each provision of the MS4 Permit before the first draft of the SWMP is completed. To receive notifications about upcoming MS4 meetings, request a meeting on a specific MS4 topic, or provide feedback, please use the below contact form.

Topics When Where
Jun 22, 2016
6:30pm–8:30pm
NYS Department of Public Service
90 Church St.
4th FL Board Room
New York, NY
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations and Facilities (Part 1)
Sep 27, 2016
2pm–3:30pm
Newtown Creek Visitor Center
329 Greenpoint Avenue Greenpoint,
Brooklyn NY, 11222
  • Control of Floatable and Settleable Trash and Debris (Part 1)
Sep 27, 2016
4pm–6pm
Newtown Creek Visitor Center
329 Greenpoint Avenue Greenpoint,
Brooklyn NY, 11222
  • Public Involvement/Participation,
  • Legal Authority
  • Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Stormwater Management
Dec 13, 2016
6:30pm–8:30pm
Hostos Community College - C Building
450 Grand Concourse
JFK Room
Bronx, NY 10451
  • Mapping
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
  • Monitoring and Assessment of Controls
Feb 22, 2017
6:30pm–8:30pm
St. Francis College
182 Remsen Street
Room 4202
Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Control of Floatable and Settleable Trash and Debris (Part 2)
  • Public Education & Outreach
Apr 19, 2017
6:30pm–8:30pm
Hudson River Foundation
17 Battery Place
Suite 915
New York, NY 10015
  • Annual Stormwater Management Program Progress Report
May 16, 2017
6pm–8pm
CUNY School of Law
2 Court Square W
Long Island City, NY 11101
June 8, 2017 DEP presented the PPGH and Industrial Commercial provisions of the SWMP to the SWIM Coalition
  • Industrial and Commercial Stormwater Sources
June 15, 2017 6-8pm JCC of Staten Island
466 Manor Rd
Staten Island, NY 10314
  • Control of Floatable and Settleable Trash and Debris (Part 3 - Draft Work Plan)
October 4, 2017 6–8pm Newtown Creek Visitor Center
329 Greenpoint Avenue Greenpoint,
Brooklyn NY, 11222

** Check DEP’s EventBrite page for additional information on these and other DEP meetings.


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