BOSTON — EPA announced plans to release a public comment draft general permit for small “municipal separate storm sewer systems” (MS4) located in Massachusetts, according to a press release.

When finalized, the new permits will update efforts in around 260 municipalities across the state, helping to better protect rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and wetlands, stated the release.

The release reported that EPA previously issued draft general permits for small MS4s in North Coastal watersheds in 2010 as well as in the Interstate, Merrimack and South Coastal watersheds in 2011; and in response to many of the public comments submitted previously as well as the availability of new technical and census information, EPA has revised the two general permits into one document and is now releasing the revised permits for public input.

Regulated MS4s include traditional cities and towns, state and federally owned facilities such as universities, military bases and state transportation agencies and the general permits will apply to all MS4s located in an urbanized area as defined by the 2010 census, continued the release.

The draft general permits require regulated small MS4s to develop, implement and enforce a “Stormwater Management Program” designed to control pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, protect water quality and satisfy appropriate requirements of the federal Clean Water Act, noted the release.

Read the entire release here.