Storm Water Program

Storm water discharges are generated by runoff from land and impervious areas such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops during rainfall and snow events. Storm water often contains pollutants in quantities that could adversely affect water quality. Most storm water discharges are considered point sources and require coverage by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The primary method to control storm water discharges is through the use of best management practices (BMPs).

Ohio NPDES Storm Water Program Fact Sheet

For information about storm water management at home, visit the Public Interest Center's website.

STREAMS application submittal system!

As of 2/1/17, application forms are now only accessible electronically via the Ohio EPA eBusiness center

PLEASE NOTE : Consultants CANNOT PIN (i.e., electronically sign) applications on behalf of their clients. Consultants can COMPLETE and SAVE an application then DELEGATE it to their client to PIN and submit. See the one-page walkthrough guide.

Access the General Permit NOI, NOT, NOE, Co-Permittee NOI/NOT, and Individual Lot NOI/NOT forms through your Ohio EPA eBusiness Center account and submit electronically. The NPDES Permit Transfer form is located below. Visit DSW's Electronic Business Services website for more information, guidance, and reporting questions.

Storm Water General Permits

Storm Water Forms 


picture of construction site

Construction sites impact Ohio's waters by:

  • adding pollutants, especially sediment, to rainwater running off of construction sites during construction; and
  • making long-term land use changes that alter the hydrology and pollutant loading of local streams.

To limit the negative impacts of construction projects on Ohio's waters, Ohio EPA administers a permitting program designed to document construction activity in the state and require practices that keep pollutants out of the streams. The permitting program is mandated in the Clean Water Act and is part of the NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) program. 

Who needs a permit?

As of March 10, 2003, if your project disturbs 1 or more acres of ground, you must get a permit to discharge storm water from your site. If your project disturbs less than 1 acre but is part of a larger plan of development or sale, you also need a permit to discharge storm water from the site.

How do I get a permit?

Most sites may get permit coverage under the general permit for discharge of storm water associated with construction activity. To get permit coverage, follow these steps, in order:

picture of construction site

  • Develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) for the construction site;
  • Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) requesting coverage for your discharges under the general permit;
  • Wait until you receive the Ohio EPA approval letter stating that you are covered under the general permit;
  • Ensure that contractors, subcontractors and staff understand their roles in carrying out the SWP3;
  • Implement the SWP3;
  • Proceed with construction, including regular maintenance and inspection of sediment and erosion controls and storm water management facilities.

Potential Waivers for 1- to 5-Acre Site Disturbances

Technical Assistance & Permit Compliance Materials

Post-Construction Q&A Documents

Post-Construction Spreadsheets


Oil & Gas

Additional Guidance Documentation

Construction General Permits

Activities that take place at industrial facilities, such as material handling and storage, are often exposed to storm water. The runoff from these activities discharges industrial pollutants into nearby storm sewer systems and water bodies.This may adversely impact water quality.

Eleven Categories of Storm Water Discharges Associated With Industrial Activity (U.S. EPA website)

Potential Waiver for Facilities with "No Exposure"

If you qualify for no exposure certification, you are exempt from permit requirements until your facility no longer qualifies for no exposure certification. If your facility changes and can no longer claim no exposure to storm water, you must submit the appropriate permit application for storm water discharge. The No Exposure Certification form must be submitted to Ohio EPA at least once every five years.

For additional background information, see the following U.S. EPA documents:

Industrial Storm Water General Permit

OHR000006  Industrial Storm Water


What is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4)?

A conveyance or system of conveyances (including roads, catch basins, curbs, gutters, ditches, man-made channels, or storm drains):

  • Owned or operated by a public bodypicture of a waterpipe
  • Designed and used for collecting storm water
  • Is not a combined sewer
  • Is not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW)

The U.S. EPA's storm water program addressed storm water runoff in two phases. Phase I addressed storm water runoff from large and medium MS4s. Large municipalities with a separate storm sewer system serving a population greater than 250,000 and medium municipalities with a service population between 100,000 and 250,000 had to obtain NPDES permits. Initial application deadlines for large and medium municipalities were November 16, 1992 and May 17, 1993, respectively. As part of their individual NPDES permit applications, the large and medium MS4s had to develop a storm water management program (SWMP).

Individual MS4 permits for discharge of storm water

The Phase II regulations address storm water runoff of MS4s serving populations less than 100,000, called small MS4s. More particularly, small MS4s located partially or fully within urbanized areas (UAs), as determined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and also on a case-by-case basis for those small MS4s located outside of UAs that Ohio EPA designates into the program. Automatically designated Small MS4s, those in UAs, were required to apply for permit coverage and develop and submit a SWMP by March 10, 2003.

Urbanized Areas

U.S. EPA developed a Fact Sheet [PDF 239K] explaining how urbanized areas affect water quality through increased runoff and pollutant loads and what homeowners can do to prevent storm water pollution.

Ohio EPA developed two general permits that were issued to Phase II Small MS4 communities under the first generation permitting in 2003. The Baseline General Permit allowed a full 5 years for SWMP development/implementation; whereas, the Alternative General Permit for MS4s Located within Rapidly Developing Watersheds required development/implementation of the Construction and Post-Construction minimum control measures within 3 years. The alternative general permit was issued to a select group of MS4s that Ohio EPA considered being located within rapidly developing watersheds. All MS4s will now be covered under the general permit renewal that was issued on January 31, 2009

USEPA developed a set of digitized maps which display detailed urbanized area maps. See the following link:image of a map

USEPA Urbanized Area Maps

Ohio EPA developed a set of digitized maps which display detailed area maps for watersheds that Ohio EPA has identified as being rapidly developing. See the following link:

Rapidly Developing Watersheds

Regulated Small MS4s

Small MS4 Informational Materials

Electronic Small MS4 Annual Report

Required for use by Small MS4 operators to submit annual reports. Small MS4 annual reports are due on April 1.

Regulated Small MS4s’ 2019 annual reports are due, on or before, April 1, 2020.  Beginning February 1, 2017 these reports can be submitted electronically via Ohio EPA’s eBusiness Center.  For a step-by-step walkthrough on entering and submitting the electronic report view the MS4 Annual Report Quick Guide.  If you have any questions on submitting your Small MS4 annual report electronically, please contact the following:

Anthony Robinson

Permit Compliance Materials

Potential Funding Sources

Storm Water Videos

Tempest in a Channel: Storm Water Runoff’s Impact on Urban Streams

Tempest in a Channel: Storm Water Runoff’s Impact on Urban Streams is a 15-minute program that explains in general terms how the actions of private citizens can contribute to pollution of storm water runoff, and how increased areas of impervious surface that result from new development create increased volumes of runoff that have to be managed.

The video also discusses how “low-impact development” concepts can be incorporated into new construction projects to better manage the increased volumes of storm water runoff typically created from new development. Reducing the amount of runoff, or relying on existing natural features at a site, often can lead to cheaper, more effective storm water management strategies. In the short-term, costs are lowered because less piping or other infrastructure is required. Over the long-term, savings can be realized because fewer controls require less maintenance, and natural controls do not need to be replaced.

The Muck Stops Here: Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control Basics

Ohio EPA, in cooperation with the Summit Soil & Water Conservation District, produced an 11-minute video highlighting preferred approaches for pollution control from regulated construction projects. The Muck Stops Here: Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control Basics is a training tool that provides specific examples of effective practices seen at active construction sites. It targets local inspectors who enforce municipal storm water regulations and have a basic knowledge of sediment and erosion control requirements.


Any questions about the storm water program should be directed to the Central Office Storm Water Section or to the appropriate district office.

Central Office Storm Water Permitting Staff

Joseph, Michael


(614) 752-0782

Robinson, Anthony


(614) 728-3392

Fyffe, Jason


(614) 728-1793

Mathews, John

Section Manager

(614) 265-6685



District Office Storm Water Staff

Cooper, Marshall

Central District Office

(614) 728-3844

Bogoevski, Dan

Northeast District Office

(330) 963-1145

Hablitzel, Lynette

Northwest District Office

(419) 373-3009

Link to SEDO County Contacts

Southeast District Office

(740) 385-8501

Flanagan, Michelle

Southwest District Office                 

(937) 285-6440




Central Office Storm Water Technical Assistance Staff


Technical Assistance


Reinhart, Justin

Water Resources Engineer

(614) 705-1149


Transportation Related Projects