Pennsylvania’s Storm Water Management Act (Act 167) was enacted in 1978. This Act was in response to the impacts of accelerated stormwater runoff resulting from land development in the state. It requires counties to prepare and adopt watershed based stormwater management plans. It also requires municipalities to adopt and implement ordinances to regulate development consistent with these plans (click here to view Ross' ordinance in compliance with MS4 ). Ross Township is part of the North Hills Council of Governments, which currently is the only comprehensive Act 167 management plan in the county. 

For a map of the release rates,click here

MS4 Permit

In response to the 1987 Water Quality Amendments to the Clean Water Act, the EPA published the rules for Phase I of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater program in 1990.  The Phase I program requires municipalities with populations of 100,000 or greater to implement a stormwater management program as a means to control discharges from the “Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System” (MS4).  An MS4 is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:

  • Owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.
  • Designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (including storm drains, pipes, ditches, etc.)
  • Not a combined sewer.
  • Not part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (sewage treatment plant).

The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Program was administrated through the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1999. Pennsylvania implemented state regulation of the MS4 permit in 2003. The underlying goal of the MS4 program is to prevent stormwater pollution from entering streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. Municipalities are required through the EPA and PA DEP to implement a stormwater management program comprising of 6 minimum control measures (MCMs)

The NPDES stormwater program is a permit-based program that established requirements that municipalities must meet to discharge storm water from MS4s to the nation’s surface waters.  Under the conditions of the permit, the City of Omaha is required to possess the legal authority to control storm drain system pollutants, continue mapping its storm sewer system, monitor stormwater discharges, and develop and implement comprehensive management programs. The permit also increases impervious area treatment goals, requires the implementation of trash reduction strategies, and environmental site design for new and redevelopment projects to the maximum extent practicable.

Stormwater management programs for both the Phase I and Phase II require that communities reduce the discharge of pollutants to the “maximum extent practicable”. The regulations require that the management programs address a minimum of six elements, that when implemented are expected to result in significant water quality benefits.  The six elements are listed below:


It's important for residents to understand their responsibility with stormwater management. When rain falls, typically one doesn't think about the entire course of events the water flows and the pollutants that enter our water during each rainfall. 


If you are a homeowner and have stormwater issues, you may refer to the Best Management Practices Guide for reference to help determine what the best option for your home. A rock sump is not your only option-- there are many alternatives. Please contact the Township if you have questions regarding Best Management Practices for your home.

  pdf Click here to view Best Management Practices: Stormwater Management Guide for Homeowners (542 KB)



 10 Things you can do




The Green Edge 

How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value

Green infrastructure -- water quality management techniques like green roofs, tree plantings, rain gardens, permeable pavement, that mimic natural hydrologic functions -- has been proven to help solve major urban stormwater problems and improve the health and livability of neighborhoods. Cities and others have promoted these practices to commercial property owners as a way to improve stormwater management and, in some communities, to reduce stormwater utility bills. But relatively little information has been publicized about the additional value that green infrastructure, when used on private property, can provide to commercial property owners and their tenants.


Benefits of green infrastructure for private, commercial property owners

  • Increased rents and property values
  • Increased retail sales
  • Energy savings
  • Stormwater fee credits and other financial incentives
  • Reduced infrastructure costs
  • Reduced costs associated with flooding
  • Reduced water bills
  • Increased mental health and worker productivity for office employees
  • Reduced crime