In 2014, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued Fauquier County a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permit. This MS4 Permit regulates how Fauquier County shall manage their stormwater systems located on, or passing through, County-managed land within urbanized areas. This Permit also outlines the various day-to-day, recurring, annual, cyclic, and long-term operational and strategic requirements that are part of the overall MS4 Program.
This MS4 Permit has the ability to affect all County departments, and all residents and businesses that discharge their stormwater into County-managed stormwater systems. County departments most affected are Fauquier County Schools, Fauquier County General Services; Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department, and Fauquier County Community Development. Overall management responsibility and authority lies with the Fauquier County Administrator; however, coordination is provided by Fauquier County’s Department of Community Development.
Other entities within Fauquier County have also been issued their own MS4 Permit, including the Town of Warrenton, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.
MS4 Annual Reports
- 2017-2018 MS4 Annual Report
- 2016-2017 MS4 Annual Report
- 2015-2016 MS4 Annual Report
- 2014-2015 MS4 Annual Report
- 2014-2015 MS4 Annual Report: Supplemental Info
Current MS4 Program Plan
Current MS4 TMDL Plan
What is an “MS4 Permit”?
The term “MS4” is an abbreviation for “Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System”. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued and administers over 100 MS4 Permits within Virginia. Fauquier County received its MS4 Permit in May 2014. The purpose of MS4 Permits is to ensure that surface water quality within urbanized areas is improved, and that these waters are properly managed.
The general premise of an MS4 Permit is as follows:
- Urban stormwater systems are known to pollute surface waters.
- These stormwater systems are owned by some public entity.
- That public entity is either generating pollutants and discharging into surface waters, or is allowing pollutants generated elsewhere, to flow through their stormwater system to eventually discharge into surface waters.
- Therefore, that public entity must manage their stormwater systems in a way that reduces the pollutant load within their stormwater systems.
- The MS4 Permit allows that public entity to discharge urbanized stormwater into surface waters, but must legally take systematic steps to ensure that the pollutant load within their urban stormwater is reduced.
- Since all of Fauquier County’s stormwater eventually enters the Chesapeake Bay, the County’s MS4 Permit is closely tied to the restoration goals of the Chesapeake Bay.