EPA Regions Propose To Reissue NPDES Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit

EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10 have proposed to reissue the agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). The MSGP currently authorizes stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity for most areas of the United States that are not authorized to administer the NPDES permit program.

According to a Dec. 1 Federal Register notice, the proposed permit will replace the existing permit covering industrial sites in EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 that expired on Oct. 30. The proposed permit is similar to the existing permit and will authorize the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activities in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein.

The proposed permit is structured in five sections: general requirements that apply to all facilities (e.g., eligibility of discharges, stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) requirements, and monitoring requirements), industry sector-specific conditions, and specific requirements applicable to individual states or tribes. Additionally, the appendices provide information on Endangered Species Act and National Historic Properties Act procedures, the Notice of Intent (NOI), the Notice of Termination (NOT) and the Conditional No Exposure Exclusion.

The organization and numbering of today's draft MSGP has been revised from the current MSGP (issued in 2000) to more clearly present permittee responsibilities, agency officials said. EPA made changes to the discharge authorization time frame, training, monitoring, reporting, recordkeeping, inspections and some sector-specific provisions to ensure that receiving waters will be adequately protected. These changes are discussed in more detail in the MSGP fact sheet (http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/msgp2006_factsheet-proposed.pdf).

EPA will hold an informal public meeting at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 20, which will include a presentation on the draft permit and a question and answer session. In addition, some EPA regional offices may schedule public meetings in their areas, officials said.

Since this permit was not reissued or replaced prior to expiration of the MSGP 2000, MSGP is administratively continued in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, and remains in force and effect, officials said. Any facility with permit coverage prior to the Oct. 30 expiration date, automatically remains covered by this permit until the earliest of:

  • Reissuance or replacement of the permit, at which time the facility must submit an NOI requesting authorization to discharge under the new permit and comply with the requirements of the new permit to maintain authorization to discharge.
  • The facility submits a Notice of Termination.
  • Issuance or denial of an individual permit for the facility discharges.
  • A formal permit decision by EPA not to reissue this general permit, at which time the facility must seek coverage under an alternative general permit or an individual permit.

For additional information, go to http://cfpub2.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/msgp.cfm.

This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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