Guidance document offers different approaches to address stormwater runoff


The state Department of Environmental Protection will soon release a guidance document to assist West Virginia MS4 communities in designing alternative pollution-control programs for development projects that can’t meet on-site stormwater runoff requirements.

Forty-seven West Virginia communities are regulated under the state’s small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit. The permit includes performance standards for development and redevelopment projects within MS4 communities. The standards are designed to reduce the impacts of polluted stormwater on the state’s streams and rivers.

The state’s new Off-Site Compliance Program Guidance addresses development projects where site conditions do not allow the first inch of rainfall to be captured on site. As alternative measures, the guidance document outlines “off-site compliance” approaches to meeting the MS4 permit performance standards.

Those approaches include Off-Site Mitigation, where runoff reduction practices at a development site are implemented by the site developer at another location within the same watershed or sewershed; and Payment in Lieu, where the site developer pays the MS4 an appropriate fee with the understanding that funds will be used to support another public stormwater project.

The 93-page guidance document, which was developed for the DEP by the Center for Watershed Protection, provides definitions, details and resources for MS4s that wish to utilize either, or both, the Off-Site Mitigation and Payment in Lieu programs. It also supplements the recently state-issued Stormwater Management and Design Guidance Manual.

The guidance document will be available this month by going to the Stormwater Program page under the Division of Water and Waste Management on the DEP Web site. For more information, contact DEP MS4 Program Manager Sherry Wilkins at or 304-926-0499, ext. 1048.


Tom Aluise