The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) released a public notice for the proposed MS4 General Permit No. WI-S050075-03 on February 25, 2019. This MS4 permit is the next 5-year permit to be reissued to the 176 communities across Wisconsin currently covered under general permit Nos. WI-S050075-2 & WI-S050181-1. The public comment period on the proposed permit is open until March 29, 2019. This proposed MS4 permit looks different than previous permits, and may require changes to current municipal storm water operations and programs to maintain compliance. The proposed permit is listed on the WDNR’s “WDPES Permits on Public Notice” website here.

Proposed changes to this permit may require changes to the MS4 programs. These changes include, but are not limited to the following:

  • An increased level of construction site erosion control inspections.

  • A program to ensure inspections and maintenance of public and private storm water treatment facilities.

  • Development and implementation of an impaired waters program for non-TMDL impairments.

  • Prioritization of minor outfalls under the Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination program.

Detailed documentation of the MS4 permit programs will be required for compliance and reporting needs. Many of these proposed changes are due next spring with the 2019 MS4 Permit Annual Report, in March of 2020. 

If your community lies within an approved or future TMDL basin, it may be useful to review Appendices A, B or C to determine what TMDL requirements will need to be submitted and when. 

The WDNR Urban Nonpoint Source & Storm Water Management (UNPS) Planning Grant Program may help provide some financial assistance to make the changes required by this proposed MS4 permit.  Applications are now available on the WDNR website and are due mid-April of 2019 for the 2020-2021 grant period. To meet the terms of this proposed MS4 permit, the work conducted under these potential grants would need to be done in the 1st quarter of 2020. UNPS Planning Grants can be used to cost share 50% of an urban storm water planning project, up to a maximum award of $85,000.

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M) has years of experience with helping municipalities to develop, update, and execute their MS4 permit programs. Our team has had great success with UNPS planning grant applications in past years and is equipped to work through the necessary program updates to produce cost-conscious storm water programs that are effective at reducing pollutants reaching local waterways. Identifying and eliminating sources of pollution can be the first step towards returning local waterways to fishable, swimmable community assets!

Contact an expert to learn more how these permit changes and grants affect your community.

About the AuthorS

Maureen Schneider

Maureen A. Schneider
Project Engineer

Maureen is passionate about finding effective, efficient, and environmentally sustainable solutions to engineering problems. She has experience in the development of storm water management plans, stream restoration projects, regulatory permit processes, agricultural pollutant reduction program implementation, and other storm water quality improvement projects. Maureen has been with Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. since 2017.



Maureen is dedicated to the protection and improvement of Wisconsin’s resources through close collaboration with municipalities and their citizens.  Efficient & effective implementation, driven by strong relationships and communication, are drivers behind her project implementation strategies.  She has experience in the WDNR’s Runoff Program, specifically issuing WPDES Permit coverage for construction site erosion control & long-term storm water plans, industrial storm water sites and municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees. Maureen has been with R/M since 2015.

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