The City of Covington took over what’s called the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program on March 1, 2021. This program regulates the quality of storm water runoff from roofs, driveways, and streets into storm drains and eventually into creeks and rivers. As a City, Covington previously had been regulated under this program through its co-permitting relationship with Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky since 2003.
The MS4 program is a federal program based on the size and population density of an urbanized area. However, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Division of Water oversees the program via a storm water permit issued every five years that mandates how the MS4 communities will manage their program.
As a MS4 permittee, Covington must develop a Storm Water Quality Management Program (SWQMP). The SWQMP is divided into six sections or Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) that must be met to follow the MS4 permit. Those MCMs are:
- Public education and outreach on storm water impacts.
- Public involvement and participation.
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination.
- Construction site storm water runoff control.
- Post-construction practices, new and redevelopment.
- Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations.
The City of Covington is also drafting and will adopt three required new ordinances that will govern: