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The EPA phase II final rule requires NPDES permit coverage for storm water discharges from certain small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). In Tennessee, the Phase II program will affect about 85 cities and counties by requiring them to obtain coverage under a storm water discharge permit and to implement a set of programs to manage the quality of storm water runoff from the storm sewer systems.

Tennessee issued a small MS4 general permit on February 27, 2003. Along with the permit is a notice of intent (NOI) that cities and counties should use to apply for coverage under the permit.

Final Permit - 2/27/03
Draft Permit PDF Document
Phase II MS4 Notice of Intent
Notice of Intent PDF Document
Response to Comments
Rationale Sheet -11/25/2002
Rationale PDF Document
Sample NOI
Rationale PDF Document
Small MS4 Annual Report Form
Small MS4 Annual Report Form

Note that as of March 10, 2003, construction activities of one acre or more must be permitted. This includes clearing, grading or excavation that results in an area of disturbance of one or more acres, and activities that result in the disturbance of less than one acre if it is part of a larger common plan of development or sale. This rule applies to construction activities begun before March 10, 2003, if one or more acres will be disturbed on or after March 10, 2003.

For approximately ten years, publicly owned sewage treatment works (POTWs) have been exempt from storm water runoff permitting. That exemption expires on March 10, 2003. More information regarding this exemption.

The EPA rule also revised the "no exposure" exclusion for industrial facilities regulated under Phase I, and ends an exemption from storm water permit requirement for municipally-owned or operated industries, such as wastewater treatment plants, landfills, transportation maintenance facilities.

Compliance Resources

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Guidance Manual
The manual includes details on the types of testing used to detect illicit discharges, information on estimating program costs in terms of capital and personnel expenses, and timelines that estimate how long program implementation will take."

University of Tennessee MTAS
Designed to provide permittees information on Best Management Practices for each of the six minimum controls required in the Phase II permit.

UT Water Resources Research Center
WRRC conducts erosion and sediment control training and provides storm water management training and expertise. This is the erosion and sediment control training specified in Tennessee's Phase II MS4 permit. Go to this site to find the Tennessee Phase II Stormwater BMP Selection Guide Manual, published by the UT WRRC and focusing on post-construction BMPs.

Tennessee MS4 Working Group
All Tennessee MS4s invited. A group for MS4s, by MS4s. Don Green, contact person, 615-550-6670.

EPA’s National Menu of Best Management Practices for Phase II MS4s
Intended to provide guidance to regulated small MS4s as to the types of practices they could use to develop and implement their storm water management programs

Stormwater Manager's Resource Center
Designed specifically for stormwater practitioners, local government officials; technical assistance on stormwater management issues; has fact sheets, slide shows, example ordinances; claims to be "everything you need to know about stormwater in a single site."

EPA’s Phase II Compliance guide: this is a guide that specifically addresses compliance with the various requirements of the Phase II rule

EPA’s Phase II Web Page: overview of Phase II and links to fact sheets and other information

EPA Model Ordinances to Protect Local Resources
Various, example ordinances for Aquatic Buffers, Illicit Discharges, Erosion and Sediment Control, Post Construction Controls, etc.

Storm Water - The Journal for Water Quality Professionals A magazine of interest to persons managing storm water. Of ten engineers and scientists on the editorial board, two are local officials.

Links to Selected MS4 Programs

Phase I-

Fort Worth, Texas

Phase II -

Griffin, Georgia

Tennessee-specific information

Proposed Cities and Counties:
PDF file of cities and counties regulated and designated

Outline of Application
Deadline: March 10, 2003 – application due date 

Stormwater Discharge Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)

Large MS4s $7500
Medium MS4s $5000
Small MS4s $2500

List of Impaired Streams. This is a list of Tennessee streams that were impaired.

E-mail us with questions: [email protected]