MS4 Permit

The County is required to have a Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) permit to discharge stormwater into local waterways. The specific permit is referred to as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit and is issued by the state Department of Environmental Quality. The state program was established in response to federal requirements under the Clean Water Act and administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Control Measures

The permit requires the County to develop a stormwater management program that addresses 6 specified minimum control measures: 
  • Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts
  • Public Involvement/Participation
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE)
  • Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
  • Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Redevelopment
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
In addition to the 6 minimum control measures, the County must also develop and implement action plans to improve waterways that do not meet state water quality standards. These action plans are referred to as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Action Plans since they implement the pollution reductions identified in the TMDLs. Efforts are under way for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Action Plan.

Each minimum control measure has multiple requirements that James City County must accomplish as a part of its stormwater management program. To meet these requirements, the County has proposed structural and non-structural best management practices to help reduce the amount of stormwater pollution entering local creeks and streams. The identified best management practices and action items for achieving the requirements of each of the 6 minimum control measures are described in the County’s permit document and contained in the Program Plan.

Permit Cycles

The County is in its second 5-year permit cycle, which spans July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018. When implemented over the next several years, the best management practices described in the permit program plan are expected to result in reductions of stormwater pollutant discharges into James City County’s waterways.