(A) Storm water runoff continues to harm Ohio's waters. Runoff from lands modified by human activities can harm surface water resources in several ways, including the changing of natural hydrologic patterns and elevating pollutant concentrations and loadings. Storm water runoff may contain or mobilize high levels of contaminants, such as sediment, suspended solids, nutrients, heavy metals, pathogens, toxins, oxygen-demanding substances and floatables.
(B) The purpose of the Ohio EPA storm water management program for small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) is to regulate sources to protect water quality and to establish a comprehensive storm water management program. In this program, small MS4s have flexibility to determine the best management practices and measurable goals that are most appropriate for their system, for each of the six minimum control measures described in paragraph (C) of rule 3745-39-03 of the Administrative Code.
(C) What constitutes a municipal separate storm sewer system is often misinterpreted and misunderstood. The term does not solely refer to municipally owned storm sewer systems, but rather is a term of art with a much broader application that can include, in addition to local jurisdictions, state and federal facilities, public universities, local sewer districts, public hospitals, federal installations, military bases and prisons. The municipal separate storm sewer system is not just a system of underground pipes - it can include roads with drainage systems, gutters and ditches.