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Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit

Information about Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit.

Protection of the Rio Grande and improving our storm water quality is of paramount importance to the City of Albuquerque and a priority for the citizens that we serve. As a result the City has applied for and received a Watershed Based Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit.

The City of Albuquerque and its co-permittees are currently regulated by Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) through the Watershed Based MS4 Permit. The City and its co-permitees received their first permit in 2003. The first five-year permit expired at the end of November 2008, the second MS4 permit and was replaced by the Watershed Based MS4 Permit in December 2014.

Under the new permit there are fourteen (14) co-permitees. The EPA believes that a WBP permit approach is more beneficial when it comes to enhancing the water quality in the Middle Rio Grande Watershed.

Minimum-Control Measures

The City's MS4 permit has requirements that fall within six (6) Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) that must be described and implemented in a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP). These are:

  1. Public Education and Outreach on Storm Water Impacts: Intended to educate the public of the potential for pollution and the benefits of improving the water quality in the Rio Grande.
  2. Public Involvement/Participation: Intended to identify various opportunities for the public to get involved in improving the water quality in the Rio Grande.
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination: Program to find and eliminate non-storm water discharges that are sources of pollution that are harmful to the Rio Grande habitat.
  4. Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control/ Industrial & High Risk Runoff Management: Monitor and minimize the release of pollutants, sediment, trash, and debris from construction sites during construction activities.
  5. Post-Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment including the implementation of Low Impact Development (LID) practices: Implement LID practices in an effort to reduce the amount of storm water runoff that can leave a site and enter the City's storm drainage system.
  6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations: Program to ensure that City facilities storm water controls/Best Management Practices (BMPs) are maintained and inspected on a regular basis. In addition, this program provides training to City employees on the best practices for daily maintenance and operations activities to minimize the introduction of various pollutants into the City's storm drain system.

Citizens Blue Ribbon Committee

In an effort to receive public input and share information about the City's MS4 permit a Citizen Blue Ribbon Committee was formed through the Mid-region Council of Governments (MRCOG). The Purpose of Committee was to discuss issues regarding compliance with the permit under the federal Clean Water Act, and to formulate recommendations for consideration by the MS4 co-permittees in order to effectively implement the Albuquerque stormwater management program in conformance with the EPA's six minimum measures.

Storm Water Management Section also provides guidance and training to local engineers, planners and contractors in the planning and implementation of storm water quality control measures for construction projects installed within the City of Albuquerque.

Annual Report 2016- Click here to view

This DRAFT report is available for public comment until November 30th.  Final reports will be posted on December 1. Comments may be emailed to [email protected]

Stormwater Management Plan- Click here to view

This DRAFT report is available for public comment until November 30th.  Final reports will be posted on December 1. Comments may be emailed to [email protected]

MS4 Publications

For more information on the City's MS4 permit please reference the following documentation:

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans

The SWPP was developed to meet the requirements of both the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Permit and the EPA's Multi-Sector General Permit for Storm Water Discharges associated with Industrial Activity. Click here for plans.

April 2016 Update

NPDES MS4 Update

Please submit comments to:


2014 Annual Report

  1. Cover Letter and Main Body
  2. Construction Site Runoff Controls
  3. Post Construction Stormwater Management
  4. Pollution Prevention Good Housekeeping for Municipal
  5. Industrial and High Risk Runoff
  6. Illicit Discharges and Improper Disposal
  7. Control of Floatables Discharges
  8. Waste Collection Programs
  9. Public Education and Outreach on Stormwater Impacts
  10. Public Involvement and Participation
  11. Implementation of New Bacteria TMDL
  12. Investigation and Reduction of PCBs
  13. Wet Weather Screening of MS4
  14. Wet Weather Assessment of Potential WQ Impacts

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Manual

View information about the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Manual.

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