Sunday, February 16, 2020

"municipalities face outlays of tens of millions of dollars to comply with the MS4 permit requirements"

Via the MA Municipal Assoc (MMA) we hear that the EPA has reached proposed settlement with Franklin (among others) on the MS4 implementation. The MS4 regulation is what has been driving Franklin actions on storm water and the development of the storm water utility fee.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached proposed settlements with several environmental and developer organizations, as well as two Massachusetts municipalities, over implementation of its small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

MS4, a type of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued by EPA regional offices, authorizes certain discharges of stormwater to surface waters.

The most recent iteration of the MS4 permits were issued for Massachusetts in 2016 and for New Hampshire in 2017, replacing a permit issued in 2003. Environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association, sued the EPA in 2017 to expedite implementation of the permit and ensure that it met stringent environmental and public health standards. Around the same time, several home builder and developer organizations, along with the town of Franklin and the city of Lowell, sued the EPA over the anticipated financial impact of the stricter regulations.

According to an EPA press release, the proposed settlements, announced on Dec. 27, are “the outcome of all parties’ efforts to ensure that, when fully implemented, both MS4 permits protect the environment, adhere to the Clean Water Act and EPA regulations, and address municipalities’ implementation concerns."

Continue reading the article online

The proposed settlement agreement and links to the amended permits are posted to the Federal Register at

The EPA page on the MA MS4 regulation

Storm water utility information sessions have been scheduled. Ben Franklin, the Franklin police dog, will also be in attendance to provide a 'ruff' overview!
  • Friday, March 6th, 2020 8 - 10 am in Town Council Chambers
  • Wednesday, March 11th, 6 - 8 pm at Franklin TV
  • Saturday, March 21st, 11 am - 1 pm at Franklin Library

Massachusetts Phase II Automatically Designated Area (PDF)
Massachusetts Phase II Automatically Designated Area (PDF) (EPA image)

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