Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s)
Stormwater runoff gathers a variety of pollutants, which degrade lakes, rivers, wetland and other waterways. Stormwater management, especially in urban areas, is becoming a necessary step to reduce pollution in New York’s waterways. New Federal regulations, commonly known as Stormwater Phase II, require permits for stormwater discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in urbanized areas; as such, MS4s are required to develop a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). Under this new regulation, the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation (Authority/Corporation) are regulated MS4s.
In New York State, the Department of Environmental Conservation issued a general permit in 2003, GP-02-02, to comply with the Federal regulations for MS4s. The newest general permit, GP-0-10-002, became effective on May 1, 2010, and will continue for five years through April 30, 2015.
MS4 Annual Reports
As part of the Authority/Corporation’s SWMPs, annual reports are developed to summarize activities completed each year.
*The files below are in PDF format unless otherwise noted.
- 2013-2014 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2011-2012 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2010-2011 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2009-2010 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2008-2009 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2007-2008 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2006-2007 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2005-2006 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
- 2004-2005 -- Thruway Authority | Canal Corporation
Comments should be directed to:New York State Thruway Authority
Environmental Services Group
Attention: Michael Monahan
200 Southern Blvd.
Albany, NY 12209
Thruway comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canals comments: email@example.com
New York Division
Hardcopies of the Authority/Corporation MS4 Annual Reports are available at the following locations:
Contact: Jack Hohman
4 Executive Blvd.
Suffern, NY 10901
845-918-2504 Albany Division
Contact: Robert Romeo
270 Mount Hope Drive
Albany, NY 12209
518-436-3006 Syracuse Division
Contact: Michael Reed
Suite 250 2nd Floor
290 Elmwood Davis Road
Liverpool, NY 13088-2104
315-438-2393 Buffalo Division
Contact: Tom Moore
455 Cayuga Road
Cheektowaga, NY 14225-1309
Stormwater Phase II Program
In response to the 1987 Amendments to the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed Phase I of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Storm Water Program in 1990. Phase I addressed sources of stormwater runoff that had the greatest potential to negatively impact water quality including medium and large municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) and construction activities that disturbed five or more acres of land. The Phase II Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on December 8, 1999, expanded on the Phase I Rule to include NPDES permit coverage for storm water discharges from certain regulated small MS4s and construction activity disturbing between one and five acres of land. Although the Phase II MS4 regulations are generally implemented by municipalities, all public entities that own and maintain a separate storm sewer system, including State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and other highway departments and authorities, are also bound by the requirements of Phase II. In New York State, the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued a general permit (GP-02-02) in 2003 to comply with Phase II requirements.
The New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation's Stormwater Management Program
In response to these environmental requirements, the New York State Thruway Authority (Authority) and New York State Canal Corporation (Corporation) have developed and implemented a statewide stormwater management program, the framework of which was submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in March 2003 for compliance with GP-02-02. The implementation of the five-year system-wide stormwater management program (SWMP) was completed at the end of 2007. A new two-year general permit, GP-0-08-002, effective May 1, 2008, was issued to continue compliance with the Federal regulations. The current permit GP-0-10-002, went into effect on May 1, 2010, and will continue through April 30, 2015.
The MS4 program must include the following minimum control items:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Participation and Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Stormwater Management
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
The Authority/Corporation will continue to evaluate facilities and operations, develop standard operating procedures and best management practices for high-risk activities, and continue to provide educational material to the public and staff regarding the importance of pollution prevention. The Authority and Corporation have always taken a proactive approach to pollution prevention and recognize the importance of environmental stewardship. Both organizations are committed to implementing an effective stormwater management program that also supports their mission and improves the environment.
What's Being Done To Protect And Promote Clean Water?
The Authority and Corporation are working hard to ensure mechanisms are in place to prevent pollution. Their stormwater management program (SWMP) includes educating staff, evaluating and updating policy, implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs), inspecting stormwater outfalls for signs of illicit discharges, evaluating facilities and operations, and reaching out to the public to educate them and request their assistance in protecting clean water. A summary of some of the components of the Authority’s stormwater program are provided below:
- Public Outreach – The Authority and Corporation developed a public participation and education campaign. A new stormwater slogan and logo have been incorporated into the Authority’s and Corporation’s education brochures, posters, website, and other stormwater and environmental material. The “Connecting the Drops” Campaign includes collaboration with various agencies to educate the public about pollution prevention and to disseminate information about the Authority’s and Corporation’s stormwater management program and other environmental stewardship initiatives. Visit the Connecting the Drops section for more information about this program.
- Maintenance and Canal Directives to Prohibit Illicit Discharges – Illicit Discharges that could occur within the Authority/Corporation MS4 as a result of maintenance and operation activities are prohibited through Authority Maintenance Directives (MDs) and Corporation Canal Directives (CDs). In addition, the Authority Division Environmental Specialists often visit and evaluate Authority/Corporation operations for environmental compliance and perform a State Agency Environmental Audit on an annual basis. If an illicit discharge occurs at an Authority/Corporation facility, the problem is corrected and follow-up actions are implemented. For illicit discharges found off the Authority/Corporation right-of-way, the Authority notifies the appropriate agency.
- Stormwater Outfall Mapping and Inspections – The Authority inspected all stormwater outfalls within the highway right-of-way that are located within the NYSDEC designated urbanized areas. Inspections were also performed at all Authority/Corporation facilities that have the potential to pollute stormwater based on the equipment located on the site, or the operations that are performed. A total of 1174 outfalls were surveyed, inspected, and mapped in GIS. The Authority also inspects large diameter culverts for hydraulic and structural condition and has incorporated stormwater inspections into their program. The Authority’s environmental staff revisits all outfalls that show some evidence of an illicit discharge and will implement appropriate remedial actions if an illicit discharge is determined to exist.
- Employee Education and Training - During the first year of the MS4 program, extensive Statewide stormwater management training was given to the Authority/Corporation employees involved with the design, construction, and maintenance of facilities. General awareness training was conducted in all Authority/Corporation Divisions by the Environmental Services Bureau for more than 200 employees including managers, supervisors, engineers, and technicians. More detailed training was provided for approximately 130 designers, environmental specialists, managers, supervisors, and maintenance managers to provide further guidance on the Phase II permit, and how it affects their operations. In 2008, training was provided to educate Authority and Corporation employees on the requirements of the new General Permit, and in 2009, Post Construction Stormwater Control training was provided to educate staff on the inspection and maintenance of permanent stormwater controls.
- Facility Evaluation and Prioritization – Authority/Corporation facilities, including storage areas, toll plazas, travel plazas and maintenance facilities, were evaluated to ensure that the new stormwater permit requirements were fully integrated into the Authority’s/Corporation’s BMPs. A representative sample of these facilities were visited across the State to review operations and assess the potential environmental impacts that such activities may have on the stormwater discharges. Operations that were evaluated included pesticide storage and application, vehicle maintenance, bridge maintenance, highway maintenance activities, right-of-way mowing, fueling operations, restaurant facilities, chemical and petroleum storage, wastewater treatment operations, and material storage. BMPs were developed to assist operations in protecting clean waters. Facilities were also evaluated based on their potential to discharge a contaminant of concern to an impaired waterbody. Evaluations included 303(d) impaired waterbodies and those facilities that discharge to a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) watershed. BMPs and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been developed to continue to protect these waters.
- Review and Update Existing Policies and Procedures – The Authority / Corporation reviewed their existing control mechanisms to confirm they clearly establish the roles and responsibilities of involved parties with regard to the protection of stormwater quality and that adequate training and oversight is provided. The initial review and modification of existing control mechanisms has been completed, but this will be an ongoing process as the Permit evolves and as control mechanisms are improved upon.
- Stormwater Management Program Plan - The Authority and Corporation have developed Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) plans to document developed, planned, and implemented stormwater management elements. The SWMP plan includes a detailed written explanation of all management practices, activities and other techniques that have been developed, planned and implemented for their SWMP.