Regulatory Mandates, Plans and Reports

FY18 MS4 Annual Report is now available

The FY18 annual report detailing the City’s work to comply with its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) stormwater discharge permit is available here.  DPW is happy to announce that the City has met its MS4 Permit requirement to restore an equivalent of 20 percent of its impervious surface to the maximum extent possible. Meeting local total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) is still in progress.

Annual MS4 reports are required as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The report includes the progress of compliance for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018). Among highlights of the report are data summaries for stream and watershed sampling; budget and expenditures; inspections and public education; and information on water quality improvement plans and implementation.


Baltimore City, and other local jurisdictions that have a separate storm sewer system, are required to have a stormwater management program, subject to terms of the federal Clean Water Act and approval by the state. This is a condition of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) permit.

Since Baltimore is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it must comply with strict regulations regarding polluted runoff. As part of our MS4 stormwater permit, the City must attain specific measures of runoff control by the end of 2018. Among those measures, Baltimore must restore an equivalent of 20 percent of its impervious surface to the maximum extent possible. Even public education and involvement regarding water quality is covered by the terms of our permit. Baltimore’s program to meet the requirements of the MS4 Permit is outlined in a document called the “MS4 and TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan”. A “TMDL” (Total Maximum Daily Load) is a regulatory term that describes the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards.

As part of the MS4 Permit, the EPA approved a "Trash TMDL" for the Middle Branch and Northwest Portions of the Patapsco River, roughly from Harbor Hospital in the south to Ferry Bar Park (Middle Branch) and Tide Point to Canton Waterfront Park (Northwest Portion).

Watershed Assessments

To restore a watershed, there must be a Watershed Plan. The MS4 Permit requires that, by the end of the permit term, Baltimore City shall complete detailed watershed assessments for the entire City. The following is a list of the previous assessments (those noted with an * are too large to upload):

Planning Area

Major Watershed

Report Title

Year

Upper Back River

Back River

PDF icon UPPER BACK RIVER SWAP Vol 1.PDF

2008

Biddison Run

Back River

SW Improvement Feasibility & Conceptual Design*

2006

Herring Run

Back River

PDF icon HR Stream Master Plan_071304.pdf

2004

Moores Run

Back River

Watershed Restoration Plan*

2001

Direct Harbor

Baltimore Harbor

Watershed Characterization Report

In Progress

Masonville Cove

Baltimore Harbor

PDF icon Masonville Cove-Executive Summary.pdf

2014

Watershed 246

Baltimore Harbor

PDF icon WS 246 HARRIS CREEK SWAP.PDF

2010

Watershed 263

Baltimore Harbor

PDF icon WS263_WS263 Management Plan KCI Aug2006.pdf

2006

Lower Jones Falls

Jones Falls

PDF icon LOWER JONES FALLS SWAP.pdf

2008

Western Run

Jones Falls

Stream Assessment*

2004

Stony Run

Jones Falls

Watershed Restoration Plan*

2001

Gwynns Falls

Gwynns Falls

PDF icon GWYNNS FALLS WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLAN - EXEC. SUMMARY.pdf

2004

Powder Mill

Gwynns Falls

PDF icon Powder Mill Targeted Report Final.pdf

2004

Maidens Choice

Gwynns Falls

Watershed Restoration Plan*

2001

Lower North Branch Patapsco

Lower North Branch Patapsco

Watershed Assessment

In Progress