The City first obtained a General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in 2003. In March 2013, the Virginia Soil & Water Conservation Board approved a new general permit that becomes effective July 1, 2013.
The City is required to develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program, referred to as an "MS4 Program". The MS4 Program must include an MS4 Program Plan that includes six minimum control measures and Special Conditions for approved Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and non-Chesapeake Bay TMDLs (e.g. for Blacks Run/ Cooks Creek). The six minimum control measures are:
- Public Education and Outreach - on stormwater impacts - includes classroom educational activities for students K-12, plantings and stream restoration activities, the CleanStream website, and educational campaigns for residents, businesses and households on pet waste management, proper fertilization techniques, automobile maintenance, etc.
- Public Participation/Involvement - includes partnerships with local universities, state agencies, local citizen organizations to organize clean up activities and Blacks Run Clean Up Day, to lead volunteer opportunities, and involving citizens in the development and implementation of the MS4 program.
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination - receiving citizen and staff reports on pollution issues such as spills and dumping and responding and remediating them to keep pollutants out of our waterways. Also includes the City's efforts in GPS mapping the City's storm sewer system and to provide household hazardous waste recycling and encouraging used oil recycling. Please report pollution events.
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff - on active construction sites - generally enforced through the City's Erosion and Sediment Control Program and the state's required Virginia Stormwater Management Program permit.
- Post-Construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Redevelopment On Prior Developed Lands - efforts in design and plan review, inspections and maintenance of stormwater management facilities after construction has completed to address quantity (flooding) and quality (pollution) issues on properties.
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations - includes training programs for city staff, and internal auditing to address potential stormwater impacts, developing nutrient management programs for select properties, etc.
Information on each of these minimum control measures, Special Conditions for Chesapeake Bay TMDL and non-Chesapeake Bay TMDLs, and their specific requirements can be found in the General Permit available on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's website.
MS4 Program Plan & Annual Reports (2013-2018)
In March 2013, the Virginia Soil & Water Conservation Board approved a new general permit that became effective July 1, 2013. The new permit has many new requirements which will result in the new program plans being substantially different from the 2008-2013 program plan.
[5MB] 2013-2018 MS4 Program Plan. Details the City of Harrisonburg's comprehensive program to manage the quality of stormwater discharged from the MS4. Submitted to Virginia DEQ on October 1, 2014.
[5MB] 2013-2018 MS4 Program Plan. Updated MS4 Program Plan. Submitted to Virginia DEQ on September 29, 2016.
[1MB] 2013-2014 MS4 Annual Report. Reports on the City of Harrisonburg's activities between July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014. Submitted to Virginia DEQ on October 1, 2014.
[1.5MB] 2014-2015 MS4 Annual Report. Reports on the City of Harrisonburg's activities between July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. Submitted to Virginia DEQ on October 1, 2015.
[1.7MB] 2015-2016 MS4 Annual Report. Reports on the City of Harrisonburg's activities between July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016. Submitted to Virginia DEQ on September 27, 2016.
[1.7MB] 2016-2017 MS4 Annual Report. Reports on the City of Harrisonburg's activities between July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017. Submitted to Virginia DEQ on October 1, 2017.
The City of Harrisonburg’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) general permit, issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), requires the development and implementation of a Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Phase 1 (5%) Action Plan for cleaning up the Bay. The Action Plan identifies strategies to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution by 5% from the City of Harrisonburg before July 1, 2018, to comply with the TMDL developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Guidance with background information and procedures to meet the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Special Condition Requirements is available on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality website. Annual reporting requirements outlined in the General Permit will be submitted with MS4 Annual Reports and posted on this webpage.
Smith Creek TMDL Action Plan
Comments or questions about the MS4 permit program, the Program Plan, or TMDL Action Plans can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org; mailed to Harrisonburg Public Works, 320 East Mosby Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22801; or directed to 540-434-5928.