Minimum Control Measure #2: Public Participation/Involvement

Public Participation / Involvement is one of the six (6) Minimum Control Measures (MCMs) required under the MS4 program.  The goal of the Public Participation / Involvement MCM is to facilitate successful implementation of your Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) through a number of means, including:  garner broad public support, utilize expertise and local knowledge, shorten implementation schedules, and build partnerships with other community and government programs. 

River Clean Up

Getting the public involved through river and stream clean-ups is a great way to achieve multiple water quality goals, including: educating and engaging the public, removing trash from local waterways, and meeting some of the requirements of the Public Participation / Involvement MCM of the MS4 program. 

There are three (3) Best Management Practices (BMPs) required under this MCM. 

BMP #1 – Develop, implement, and maintain a Public Involvement and Participation Program (PIPP) which describes various types of possible participation activities and describes methods of encouraging the public’s involvement and soliciting of public’s input.  The PIPP should be developed the first year of permit coverage and re-evaluated annually.  PIPP should include but not be limited to: 

  • Opportunities for the public to participate in your SWMP,
  • Regular communication methods to organizations such as watershed groups, environmental advisory committees, etc., and
  • Making MS4 reports available to the public on your website, at municipal offices, or by mail upon request. 

BMP #2 – Prior to the adoption of any ordinance required by the permit, provide adequate public notice and opportunities for public review, input, and feedback.  Public comments that are received should be documented and responded to.    Ordinance adoption is required under MCM #4 – Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control. 

BMP #3 – Regularly solicit public involvement and participation from the target audience groups.  This should include an effort to solicit public reporting of suspected illicit discharges.  Assist the public in their efforts to help implement your SWMP.  Conduct public meetings to discuss the on-going implementation of your SWMP.  At least one public meeting should be held annually; the public should be notified in advance of each meeting.  Meeting topics should include progress, activities, and accomplishments of your SWMP as well as opportunities for the public to provide feedback. 

Documentation is a critical component of the entire MS4 program, including MCM #2 – Public Participation and Involvement.  You must be sure to document the instances of public involvement, which may include but are not limited to: presentations at municipal meetings, presentations to watershed and conservation groups, stream clean ups, drain stenciling, and educational activities such as a watershed festival. 

Explore the links below to learn more about the Public Participation / Involvement MCM as well as ideas on public participation activities, presentation examples, and more.



Please note that this information is not intended to replace regulatory requirements.  Actual individual and/or general permits issued by PADEP should be followed to ensure that MS4 regulatory requirements are met. 

This information was adapted from Appendix A of PADEP’s PAG-13 Stormwater Management Program & EPA’s Stormwater Phase II Final Rule Fact Sheet Series.


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