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Deadlines for EPA’s New General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities Approaching Fast

| 3 min read
Former Proposals Specialist
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by Maribeth M. Klein

On June 4, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a revised National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges from industrial activities. EPA’s MSGP only applies in areas where EPA remains the NPDES permitting authority, such as:

  • Idaho, New Mexico, Massachusetts, New Hampshire;
  • the District of Columbia;
  • the U.S. territories (except the Virgin Islands);
  • most Indian Country lands;
  • federally operated facilities in Colorado, Delaware, Vermont and Washington; and
  • select activities in specific states (e.g. oil and gas activities in Texas and Oklahoma).

However, EPA’s new MSGP is worth a look in jurisdictions where the state administers the NDPES program because many states use EPA’s MSGP in some form as the basis of the state-program MSGP.

The 2015 MSGP provisions are largely similar to the 2008 MSGP. EPA describes the most significant changes as follows:

  • Revised threatened and endangered species eligibility procedures;
  • Additional specificity for several of the technology-based effluent limits (i.e., control measures) for clarity;
  • A requirement that facilities discharging to a small number of federal Superfund sites notify their EPA regional office prior to filing their Notice of Intent (NOI);
  • Streamlining of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) documentation (i.e., facilities do not have to expound on their compliance with certain effluent limits);
  • Public accessibility to SWPPP information, either by posting on the Internet or by incorporating salient information into the NOI;
  • Electronic submission for the NOI, Notice of Termination, annual report, and monitoring;
  • Reduced requirements for inspections (i.e., facilities no longer have to conduct a separate comprehensive site inspection);
  • Specific deadlines for taking corrective actions;
  • Inclusion of saltwater benchmark values for metals; and
  • Inclusion of the Airport Deicing Effluent Limitation Guideline for the air transportation sector.

EPA Fact Sheet, EPA Issued Revised General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities (June 2015).   Additional details are available at EPA’s MSGP webpage.

Key deadlines include:

  • Facilities operating under the 2008 MSGP and facilities that commenced discharging between September 30, 2015 and September 2, 2015 and have been operating consistent with EPA’s no action assurance must submit a NOI no later than September 2, 2015.
  • Where threatened or endangered species or their designated critical habitat are likely to occur in or near a facility’s “action area,” Criterion C Eligibility Forms must be submitted 30 days before the NOI, or in most cases by August 2, 2015.
  • First quarter monitoring under the 2015 MSGP begins October 1 through December 31, 2015.

EPA is also hosting electronic reporting training for EPA’s 2015 MSGP on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. See EPA’s MSGP webpage for details.