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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 12-1204


Certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Consistency under the Coastal Zone Management Act

[42 Pa.B. 3807]
[Saturday, June 30, 2012]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) grants certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act (act) (33 U.S.C.A. § 1341) for activities conducted in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency proposed reissuance of its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP) for commercial vessels and nonrecreational vessels greater than or equal to 79 feet in length and issuance of its proposed NPDES Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) to cover discharges incidental to the operation of vessels less than 79 feet in length, as described at 76 FR 76716 (December 8, 2011). The VGP and the sVGP are hereafter collectively referred to as VGPs.

 The Department finds the proposed VGPs are consistent with section 401 of the act as well as State water quality standards. Furthermore, the Department finds the proposed VGPs to be consistent with the Pennsylvania Coastal Resources Program's enforceable policies, as required by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1451—1466).

 A notice inviting comment on this certification was published at 42 Pa.B. 1472 (March 17, 2012).

 No comments were received by the Department.

 This Certification shall expire 5 years from the effective date of proposed permits. However, the Department reserves the right to amend, modify or withdraw certification of either or both VGPs to protect the waters of this Commonwealth or if for any reason further changes to one or both draft VGPs are made upon issuance of the final VGPs. Furthermore, the Department reserves the right to modify this Certification to require vessels covered by one or both VGPs to install and operate ballast water treatment systems to prevent the discharge of aquatic nuisance species to Commonwealth waters provided a determination is made by the Department that such ballast water treatment systems are necessary, available and cost effective.

 The issuance of this Certification does not authorize a violation of any Federal, State or local laws or regulations, nor does it rule out the necessity of obtaining applicable permits, including any other Department permits or approvals from other units of government as may be required by law.

 Conditions in the VGPs are consistent to ensure compliance with the requirements of The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1—691.1001) as well as to reduce water degradation, unintentional discharge of invasive species, nutrient loading, disease organisms and other pollutants discharged from the vessels covered by the VGPs that have the potential to disrupt the ecological balance of this Commonwealth's waters and the Great Lakes and negatively impact the fish and wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-1204. Filed for public inspection June 29, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]

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