The Water Environment Federation (WEF) provided public comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit remand rule, published in the Federal Register on Jan. 6, 2016.

Prior to the register publication, EPA also made prepublication documents available for public review on Dec. 17, 2015. A formal 75-day public comment period concluded March 21, 2016, therefore providing the public with a total of 94 days of review.

In addition to providing comments, WEF produced a webcast regarding the remand rule on Jan. 19, 2016. View the webcast recording through GoToWebinar. An article also was published on the remand rule in WEF’s Stormwater Report on Dec. 18, 2015.

WEF’s comments focused on responding to questions posed by EPA with a focus on providing maximum flexibility to the MS4 Phase II regulated sector. EPA requested comments regarding three potential options for how the MS4 Phase II program might be run.

  • Option 1 focused on a Traditional Permit Approach.
  • Option 2 was a Procedural Approach
  • Option 3 was known as the State Choice (or Hybrid) Approach.

WEF recommended EPA adopt Option 3, which appears to align with the current diversity approaches used by the states.

If adopted, Option 3 would provide authorization to the permitting authorities (states, regional boards, etc.) to choose the program administrative approach that best fits their individual needs.

The full scope of WEF’s comments are available for review. WEF will continue to work with EPA and its members and partners as the remand rule continues to progress over the upcoming year. EPA is obligated to issue a final MS4 Phase II rule by Nov. 17, 2016 under the terms of last year’s legal settlement.

For additional information regarding the remand rule and WEF’s comments, please contact Chris French at 703-684-2423 or