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Stormwater Management
MS4 Permit

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. 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 five major compliance categories, which are as follows (click on the links below for more information):

  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


City of Portsmouth, Virginia · All Rights Reserved · Portsmouth City Hall · 801 Crawford Street · Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8000