Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The draft general permit, appendices, and fact sheet are available at:
No facsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.
The draft permit is based on an administrative record available for public review at EPA-Region 1, Office of Ecosystem Protection, 5 Post Office Square--Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts 02109-3912. The following
As stated previously, the Director of the Office of Ecosystem Protection, EPA—Region 1, is proposing to reissue three NPDES general permits for the discharge of stormwater from small MS4s to certain waters within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The three permits are:
MAR041A00—Traditional cities and towns.
MAR042A00—Non-traditional state/federal owned systems.
MAR043A00—Non-traditional transportation systems.
The conditions in the draft permit are established pursuant to Clean Water Act (CWA) section 402(p)(3)(iii) to ensure that pollutant discharges from small MS4s are reduced to the maximum extent practicable (MEP), protect water quality, and satisfy the appropriate requirements of the CWA. The regulations at 40 CFR 122.26(b)(16) define a small municipal separate storm sewer system as “* * * all separate storm sewers that are:
(1) Owned or operated by the United States, a State, city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association, or other public body (created by or pursuant to State law) having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, stormwater, or other wastes, including special districts under State law such as a sewer district, flood control district or drainage district, or similar entity, or an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization, or a designated and approved management agency under section 208 of the CWA that discharges to waters of the United States.
(2) Not defined as `large' or `medium' municipal separate storm sewer systems pursuant to paragraphs (b)(4) or (b)(7) or designated under paragraph (a)(1)(v) of this section [40 CFR 122.26].
(3) This term includes systems similar to separate storm sewer systems in municipalities such as systems at military bases, large hospital or prison complexes, and highways or other thoroughfares. The term does not include separate storm sewers in very discrete areas, such as individual buildings.”
For example, an armory located in an urbanized area would not be considered a regulated small MS4.
The draft general permit sets forth the requirements for the small MS4 to “reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, including management practices, control techniques, and system, design and engineering methods * * *”(
Section 402(p)(3)(B)(iii) of CWA also authorizes EPA to include in an MS4 permit “such other provisions as [EPA] determine appropriate for control of * * * pollutants.” EPA believes that this provision forms a basis for imposing water quality-based effluent limitations (WQBELs), consistent with the authority in Section 301(b)(1)(C) of the CWA.
EPA—Region 1 issued a final general permit to address stormwater discharges from small MS4s on May 1, 2003. The 2003 general permit required small MS4s to develop and implement a SWMP designed to control pollutants to the maximum extent practicable and protect water quality. This draft permit builds on the requirements of the previous general permit.
EPA views the MEP standard in the CWA as an iterative process. MEP should continually adapt to current conditions and BMP effectiveness. EPA believes that compliance with the requirements of this general permit will meet the MEP standard. The iterative process of MEP consists of a municipality developing a program consistent with specific permit requirements, implementing the program, evaluating the effectiveness of the BMPs included as part of the program, then revising those parts of the program that are not effective at controlling pollutants, then implementing the revisions, and evaluating again. The changes contained in the draft general permits reflect the iterative process of MEP. Accordingly, the draft general permits contain more specific tasks and details than the 2003 general permit.
In order for a small MS4 to obtain authorization to discharge, it must submit a complete and accurate NOI containing the information in Appendix F of the draft general permit. The NOI must be submitted within 90 days of the effective date of the final permit. The effective date of the final permit will be specified in the
The draft general permit provides interim coverage for permittees covered by the previous permit and whose coverage was effective upon the expiration date of that permit (May 1, 2008). For those discharges covered by the previous permit, authorization under the previous permit is continued automatically on an interim basis for up to 180 days from the effective date of the final permit. Interim coverage will terminate earlier than the 180 days when a complete and accurate NOI has been submitted by the small MS4 and coverage is either granted or denied. If a permittee was covered under the previous permit and submitted a complete and accurate NOI in a timely manner, and notification of authorization under the final permit has not occurred within 180 days of the effective date of the final permit, the permittee's authorization under the previous permit can be continued beyond 180 days on an interim basis. Interim coverage will terminate after
EPA—Region 1 will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on each NOI that is submitted. Following the public notice, EPA—Region 1 will either authorize the discharge, request additional information, or require the small MS4 to apply for an alternative permit or an individual permit.
The draft permit includes provisions to ensure that discharges do not cause or contribute to exceedances of water quality standards. The provisions in Parts 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 of the general permit constitute the water quality-based effluent limitations of the permit. The purpose of this part of the permit is to establish the board inclusion of water quality-based effluent limitations for those discharges requiring additional controls in order to achieve water quality standards and other water quality related objectives, consistent with 40 CFR 122.44(d). The non-numeric effluent limitation requirements of this permit are expressed in the form of control measures and BMPs (see Part 2.4 of the general permit).
When EPA has not promulgated effluent limitations for a category of discharges, or if an operator is discharging a pollutant not covered by an effluent limitation guideline, effluent limitations may be based on the best professional judgment (BPJ) of the agency or permit writer. The BPJ limits in the general permit are in the form of non-numeric control measures, commonly referred to as best management practices (BMPs). Non-numeric limits are employed under limited circumstances, as described in 40 CFR 122.44(k). EPA has interpreted the CWA to allow BMPs to take the place of numeric effluent limitations under certain circumstances. 40 CFR 122.44(k) provides that permits may include BMPs to control or abate the discharge of pollutants when: “(1) [a]uthorized under section 304(e) of the CWA for the control of toxic pollutants and hazardous substances form ancillary industrial activities; (2) [a]uthorized under section 402(p) of the CWA for the control of stormwater discharges; (3) [n]umeric effluent limitations are infeasible; or (4) [t]he practices are reasonable to achieve effluent limitations and standards or to carry out the purposes and intent of the CWA.” The permit regulates stormwater discharges using BMPs. Due to the variability associated with stormwater, EPA believes the use of BMPs is the most appropriate method to regulate discharges of stormwater from municipal systems in accordance with the above referenced regulation.
The draft permit requires small MS4s to continue to control stormwater discharges from the municipal system in a manner designed to reduce the discharge of pollutant to the maximum extent practicable and to protect water quality. The small MS4s are required to implement a SWMP consisting of control measures. These control measures include the following: public education and outreach; public participation; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction stormwater management; stormwater management in new development and redevelopment; and good housekeeping in municipal operations. Implementation of the SWMP involves the identification of BMPs and measurable goals for BMPs. The draft permit identifies an objective for each control measure. The small MS4 must implement the control measures required by the general permit and document actions in the SWMP that demonstrate progress toward achievement of the objective of the control measure. The permit also contains outfall monitoring requirements that are associated with implementation of the illicit discharge detection and elimination program, recordkeeping and reporting.