NPDES MS4 Program

Fee adjustments 2023

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Many permit fees have changed for applications received on or after October 3, 2023. North Carolina’s 2023 Appropriations Act Session Law 2023-134 includes fee adjustments for 28 Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) programs, including Stormwater. A full list of fee adjustments is available on the DEQ website.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program is mandated under the federal Clean Water Act and delegated to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for implementation. An NPDES MS4 permit is required for an MS4 owner or operator that is within a U.S. Census Bureau-designated Urbanized Area. This program expands with each new Census. Other entities are also designated to obtain permit coverage in accordance with state rules [15A NCAC 02H .0151]. 

NPDES MS4 permits are implemented at the local level, and every permitted MS4 is required to implement a comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) which includes six minimum control measures:

  1. Public Education & Outreach
  2. Public Involvement & Participation
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination
  4. Construction Site Runoff Controls
  5. Post-Construction Site Runoff Controls
  6. Pollution Prevention & Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
    1. Municipal Facilities Operation and Maintenance
    2. Spill Response
    3. MS4 Operation and Maintenance
    4. Municipal Stormwater Control Measure (SCM) Operation and Maintenance
    5. Pesticide, Herbicide and Fertilizer Management
    6. Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance
    7. Pavement Management

See the MS4 Forms & Resources page for more information.

Access all permit records in the MS4 Program section of our Laserfiche Repository.

MS4 Audit Schedule

Per EPA requirements, DEQ is required to audit 20% of MS4 permittees each year. See the MS4 Audit Schedule.


Contact Isaiah Reed, The Stormwater Program's MS4 Program contact.

Updates and Guidance

Tab/Accordion Items

  • Changes made to Urban Area Criteria from 2020 U.S. Census data will have future impacts to MS4 designations in North Carolina. Read about the proposed changes in the Federal Register.

  • Public colleges and universities within MS4 permitted areas must comply with MS4 requirements.  An informational series of MS4 webinars on this subject will begin with the Wow Wednesday Stormwater webinar on April 20, 2022.  This webinar, entitled “The Joys and Pitfalls of Implementing a Phase II NPDES Stormwater Program at a Public University” will be presented by stormwater staff from UNC-Chapel Hill (register here). Additional topics will be added soon!

  • MS4 permit files are publicly available from the Stormwater Program Laserfiche Repository.

  • To be added to the MS4 email list, send your email to the MS4 Program interim contact at You will receive informational emails once or twice a month covering MS4 announcements, reminders, tools and tips, FAQs, events and more.

  • Electronic payment of annual permit fees is convenient and quick! Click on "Stormwater ePayments" on the lower right corner of this page. There is no fee for eCheck. The convenience fee for a credit card is 2.65% and the convenience fee for a debit card is $3.95. 

40 CFR 122.22 sets forth who can sign MS4 applications and reports.  For MS4 communities, permit documents must be signed by the Mayor or the City/Town Manager or a delegated individual.  A Mayor or City/Town Manager may delegate an individual using the Stormwater Delegation of Signature Authority Form

After completing the Stormwater Delegation of Signature Authority Form, scan and email it to Jeanette Powell and mail the original, hard copy to the Stormwater Program, attn: Jeanette Powell, 1612 MSC, Raleigh, NC 276990-1612.

Please check to make sure that your permit information is correct by entering your stormwater permit number into the Stormwater Permit Summary Report and reviewing the information there.  To update the:

  • Mayor or City/Town Manager (legally responsible person), email Isaiah Reed.
  • Facility address or contact information, email Isaiah Reed.
  • Billing contact, email Tev Holloman