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The City of Columbia Heights is included in a group of communities with populations greater than 10,000 that are federally required by the Environmental Protection Agency to obtain a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit for managing non-point source stormwater. Non-point source stormwater is generally the overland flow of stormwater that does not originate from a single pipe, otherwise known as point-source stormwater.

The Phase II National Pollution and Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process requires cities such as Columbia Heights to file a Phase II NPDES permit with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) which addresses how the City will regulate and improve stormwater discharges. The permit must include a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) addressing all the requirements of the permit.

The City’s Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) was written in 2003 with Best Management Practices (BMPs) and was designed to meet the requirements of the MS4 GENERAL PERMIT and reduce the discharge of pollutants from the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) to the Maximum Extent Possible (MEP)

The City updated its permit application in early 2021.  The permit revision was under public notice for comments from Aug 17, 2021, to Sept 17, 2021. 

In accordance with Minn. R. 7001.0140, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has made a final determination to issue coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System (NPDES/SDS) General Permit MNR040000 for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4 General Permit) to the City of Columbia Heights, effective on Oct 15, 2021.  Please find enclosed a copy of the above-referenced MS4 General Permit here.

City of Columbia Heights Ordinances

In accordance with the City's SWPPP permit requirements, the City is working to update its ordinances.  Chapter 8: Public Health & Safety; Article VII: Surface Drainage Connections and Discharges and Chapter 9: Land use; Article I: Zoning and Land Development are the ordinances currently being reviewed.  The changes to the ordinances will take place in early 2015.  To view the current ordinances and additional ordinances regarding stormwater management and illicit discharges, please follow the links below.