Nutrient Credit Trading Program; Mass Certification
[49 Pa.B. 6624]
[Saturday, November 2, 2019]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) provides notice of a mass credit certification action under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program. This action is taken under 25 Pa. Code § 96.8 (relating to use of offsets and tradable credits from pollution reduction activities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed).
On September 7, 2019, the Department provided notice of its intent under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program to issue a mass certification to all significant sewage point source discharges within the Chesapeake Bay watershed with annual mass load effluent limitations (that is, ''Cap Loads'') in a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit (see 49 Pa.B. 5259 (September 7, 2019)). Comments on this proposal were accepted until October 7, 2019.
For a list of significant sewage point sources in the Commonwealth portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, see Table 7-1 of the Commonwealth's Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plan (Phase 2 WIP) Wastewater Supplement, available at www.dep.pa.gov/npdes-bay or on the Department's Nutrient Credit Trading Program web site at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading.
Effective October 1, 2019, to be eligible to generate credits for sale, all significant sewage point source discharges with an assigned cap load in the Commonwealth's portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed (see Table 7-1 of the Phase 2 WIP Wastewater Supplement) must demonstrate treated yearly effluent concentrations below 6.0 mg/L total nitrogen (TN) and below 0.8 mg/L total phosphorous (TP)—that is, ''baseline concentrations''—in accordance with the procedures described in the Phase 2 WIP Nutrient Trading Supplement, available on the Department's Nutrient Credit Trading Program web site at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading. When stringent effluent limitations for TN or TP, or both, are established in Part A of the NPDES permit for reasons other than the cap load assigned for protection of the Chesapeake Bay, the permittee is eligible to generate credits when the permittee demonstrates that these effluent limitations have been achieved in accord with the Phase 2 WIP Nutrient Trading Supplement. In addition:
• to generate credits, facilities must demonstrate they are in compliance with their NPDES permit;
• the total amount of credits the facility is certified to generate cannot exceed its permitted cap load;
• the calculation of credits will be made using formulas described in the Phase 2 WIP Nutrient Trading Supplement; and
• this point source certification will expire on September 30, 2020.
To ensure that verification is complete in time for credit availability to be posted on the Department's web site, facilities are encouraged to provide the Department with their verification requests by October 28 of each year. Verification requests must include a complete Annual Chesapeake Bay Spreadsheet, available on the Department's Nutrient Credit Trading Program web site at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading, for the compliance year in which the credits were generated (that is, October 1 through September 30). Verification forms and instructions are found on the Credit Trading Process page of the Department's Nutrient Credit Trading Program web site at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading.
Persons aggrieved by this action may appeal, under section 4 of the Environmental Hearing Board Act (35 P.S. § 7514) and 2 Pa.C.S. §§ 501—508 and 701—704 (relating to Administrative Agency Law), to the Environmental Hearing Board, Second Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, P.O. Box 8457, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8457.
TDD users may contact the Environmental Hearing Board (Board) through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984.
Appeals must be filed with the Board within 30 days of receipt of notice of this action unless the appropriate statute provides a different time. This paragraph does not, in and of itself, create any right of appeal beyond that permitted by applicable statutes and decisional law.
Copies of the appeal form and the Board's rules of practice and procedure may be obtained at http://ehb.courtapps.com or by contacting the Secretary to the Board at (717) 787-3483. The appeal form and the Board's rules are also available in braille and on audiotape from the Secretary to the Board.
Important legal rights are at stake. Individuals should show this document to a lawyer at once. Persons who cannot afford a lawyer may qualify for free pro bono representation. Call the Secretary to the Board at (717) 787-3483 for more information. A lawyer is not needed to file a notice of appeal with the Board.
For individuals who wish to challenge this action, appeals must be filed with and received by the Board within 30 days of receipt of notice of this action.
For further information about this action or the Department's Nutrient Credit Trading Program, contact the Division of Operations, Bureau of Clean Water, Department of Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 8774, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8774, RA-EPPANutrientTrad@pa.gov, (717) 787-6744 or visit the Department's Nutrient Credit Trading Program web site at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-1642. Filed for public inspection November 1, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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