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MS4 Program and Pollution in Stormwater Runoff
The federal government has determined that stormwater runoff is the only source of water pollution in the nation that is continuing to increase. When it rains, stormwater collects many types of hazardous materials that flow directly into area lakes and streams. Stormwater is only minimally treated and sometimes not treated at all before it reaches our waterways. Oils, chemicals, fertilizers, litter and waste in stormwater can cause major problems in waterways. The effects may vary; however, research has shown that pollution affects drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.
Stormwater pollution results from a wide variety of human activities. Each of us can contribute to the problem without even realizing it.
Chesapeake has a regulated municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), which is the technical name for the network of ditches, pipes, lakes, and other structures which convey and treat stormwater. The City is required to comply with federal and state regulations and is mandated by the Department of Environmental Quality to follow its Virginia Stormwater Management Program MS4 Permit (updated in 2016) which details limitations and requirements on stormwater discharges and programs. View the City's MS4 Program Plan and the Fiscal Year 2017 MS4 Annual Report below:
You can help reduce pollution by remembering to keep potential pollutants away from storm drains. Never throw or dump anything down a storm drain. Not only can this contaminate local waters, but it can also contribute to flooding by blocking drains, inlets and ditches.
Visit the Stormwater Education webpages to learn more about stormwater pollution and how you can prevent it.
Cleaning up Chesapeake's Waterways - TMDL Action Plans
Chesapeake Bay - In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) or “pollution diet” for the Chesapeake Bay. Portions of 6 states and the District of Columbia are located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The TMDL required these Bay jurisdictions to develop strategies to make reductions in discharges of Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and Sediment in order to improve Bay water quality. As part of this process, the Commonwealth of Virginia is requiring each MS4 locality to develop a TMDL Action Plan to reduce pollutants in urban stormwater runoff. In accordance with Part D.1. of the City’s MS4 Permit the City of Chesapeake must prepare and submit a Chesapeake Bay TMDL Action Plan to the Virginia DEQ. The City’s Action Plan is available for public input until June 28, 2018:
Local TMDLs - In addition to the Chesapeake Bay, other waterways in the City are impaired for bacteria and dissolved oxygen. In accordance with Part D.2. of the City’s MS4 Permit Local TMDL Action Plans are required to be developed. The City’s Local TMDL Action Plans are available for public input until June 28, 2018:
Please submit all comments via email using the subject line "TMDL Action Plan" to Barbara Brumbaugh, MS4 Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be received no later than June 28, 2018.
For further information on the TMDL development process in Virginia and full TMDL reports, please visit the Department of Environmental Quality's TMDL webpage.
For further information on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL please visit the EPA TMDL webpage.