Environmental Protection

Pennsylvania DEP to Revise Stormwater Permit

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection gathered comments this month on proposed municipal stormwater general permit revisions that are expected to reduce pollutant discharge and satisfy Clean Water Act requirements, according to DEP Secretary John Hanger.

Since 2002, designated small municipal separate storm water systems have been required to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. By law, the permit must be reviewed and renewed every five years, and Pennsylvania is currently operating under an extension of the review.

“This NPDES general permit is not a new requirement,” Hanger said. “It does not implement or relate to any new or proposed regulations at either the federal or state level; however it provides a template for meeting existing federal and state water quality regulations.

"A proposed section relating to total maximum daily loads, or TMDLs, has been incorporated into the permit to assist those municipalities that are required to meet water quality standards where the waters are impaired,” Hanger explained. A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive and still safely meet water quality standards. This proposed section will help municipalities comply with these water quality improvement requirements,” he added.

Most municipalities that are required to obtain or renew their permit will be eligible to use this NPDES general permit. Municipalities can elect to use a more customized approach by using an individual NPDES permit process as an alternative to the DEP proposed NPDES general permit.

The public comment period ended July 6.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Stormwater Management.

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