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.

These permits are broken down into 5 major compliance categories which correlate with the following navigation menu selections (also found in the menu to the left of each page):

  • Construction Site Runoff Control
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Good Housekeeping and Pollution Prevention
  • Post-Construction Runoff Control
  • Public Education and Outreach/Involvement

Current MS-4 Permit July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021

Fact Sheet

FY2016 Annual Report

FY2017 Annual Report

FY2018 Annual Report

Program Plan