Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
After the expiration date of the Public Notice on November 10, 2008, the Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10, will make a final determination with respect to issuance of the general permit. The proposed requirements contained in the draft general permit will become final upon issuance if no significant comments are received during the public comment period.
Two public informational meetings will be held to discuss the Proposed Permit, clarify changes and to answer general questions. Two meetings will be held, one in Anchorage on October 15, 2008, in the Westmark Hotel Anchorage, 720 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501, at 5:30 p.m., the other in Seattle on October 28, 2008 in the Red Lion Hotel, 1415 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101 at 5 p.m. These informational meetings will not serve as a formal public hearing on the permit.
Persons wishing to request a public hearing should submit their written request by November 10, 2008 stating the nature of the issues to be raised as well as the requester's name, address and telephone number to Lindsay Guzzo at the address above. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice will be published in the
The complete administrative record for the draft permit is available for public review at the EPA Region 10 headquarters at the address listed above.
EPA is also providing Public Notice of ADEC's intent to certify the general permit pursuant to section 401 of the Clean Water Act. ADEC has provided a draft certification that the draft general permit complies with State Water Quality Standards (18 AAC 15), including the State's antidegradation policy.
Persons wishing to comment on State certification of the draft general NPDES permit should send written comments to Mr. Shawn Stokes in ADEC's Anchorage Office, 555 Cordova Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, or via electronic mail at
Because the proposed permit will cover new sources in Alaska, the permit is subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Based on the Environmental Assessment (EA) and consideration of the proposed NPDES permit conditions, and in accordance with the guidelines for determining the significance of proposed federal actions (40 CFR 1508.27) and EPA criteria for initiating an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) (40 CFR 6.605), EPA has concluded that the proposed NPDES permit will not result in significant effect on the human environment. The proposed permit will not significantly affect land use patterns or population, wetlands or flood plains, threatened or endangered species, farmlands, ecologically critical areas, historic resources, air quality, water quality, noise levels, and fish and wildlife resources. It will also not conflict with approved local, regional, or state land use plans or policies. The proposed permit also conforms with all applicable Federal statutes and executive orders. As a result of these findings, EPA has determined that an EIS will not be prepared and the public is invited to comment on EPA's Preliminary Finding Of No Significant Impacts (FONSI).
Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act requires EPA to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries regarding the potential effects that an action may have on listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. To address these ESA requirements, and in support of EPA's informal consultation with the Services, a Biological Evaluation (BE) was prepared to analyze these potential effects. During the development of the draft general permit, information provided by the Services was used to identify species of interest for consideration in the BE. The results of the BE concluded that discharges from Offshore Seafood Processing facilities will either have
Section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1855(b)) requires federal agencies to consult with NOAA Fisheries when any activity proposed to be permitted, funded, or undertaken by a federal agency may have an adverse effect on designated Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined by the Act. To address the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, EPA prepared an EFH Assessment concluding that offshore seafood processors operations may adversely affect essential fish habitat. However, EPA expects that effects on essential fish habitat, while possible, are likely to be limited in extent for several reasons. For more information please see the Biological Evaluation/ EFH assessment. As with ESA, any additional comments or conservation recommendations received from NOAA Fisheries regarding EFH will be considered prior to issuance of the GPs.
EPA has determined that this general permit is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 and is therefore not subject to OMB review.
The information collection requirements of this permit were previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601
Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, generally requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their “regulatory actions” (defined to be the same as “rules” subject to the RFA) on tribal, State, and local governments and the private sector. However, general NPDES permits are not “rules” subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b), and is therefore not subject to the RFA.