MS4 Permit

Permit Program


In 1972, the Clean Water Act was established by the Environmental Protection Agency to protect and restore our nation's navigable waterways and their tributaries. To enforce this act and meet its goals, the EPA administers the National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program. This program regulates discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4's) by issuing NPDES permits. The state of Virginia, like many other states, has been authorized by the EPA to administer these NPDES permits in the form of Virginia Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (VPDES) permits.

Phase 1 MS4 Permit


The ultimate goal of these permits is to regulate the amount of pollutants being discharged into U.S. waters by permit holders. As a municipality in the state of Virginia with a population over 100,000 people, the City of Portsmouth was required to have a Phase 1 MS4 Permit when the permits were first established. In 2005, these permits changed to Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) permits.

These permits are broken down into 5 major compliance categories, which are the same as your left-hand menu navigation pages:
  1. Public Education and Outreach/ Involvement
  2. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  3. Construction Site Runoff Control
  4. Post-Construction Runoff Control
  5. Good Housekeeping and Pollution Prevention
Current MS-4 Permit July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016