Nutrient Credit Trading Program; Mass Certification
[51 Pa.B. 4928]
[Saturday, August 14, 2021]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) provides notice of its intention under the Nutrient Credit Trading Program (Trading Program) to approve a mass certification of pollutant reduction activities to generate credits by significant sewage point source discharges located in the Commonwealth portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed that have annual mass load effluent limitations (cap loads) in their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.
A list of these significant sewage point sources can be found in Table 5 of the Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) Wastewater Supplement, available at www.dep.pa.gov/npdes-bay or www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading (select ''Delivery Ratio: Credits vs Pounds'' then the table of significant sewage point sources is linked as the ''Point Source Credit Generators Table''). See 25 Pa. Code § 96.8 (relating to use of offsets and tradable credits from pollution reduction activities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed).
Effective October 1, 2020, to be eligible to generate credits for sale, all significant sewage point source discharges with an assigned cap load (see Table 5 of the Phase 3 WIP Wastewater Supplement) must demonstrate treated yearly effluent concentrations (baseline concentrations) below 6.0 mg/L total nitrogen (TN) and 0.8 mg/L total phosphorous (TP) in accordance with the procedures described in the Phase 2 WIP Nutrient Trading Supplement, which is available at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading (in the ''Trading Program Overview'' section). When stringent effluent limitations for TN or TP, or both, are established in Part A of a significant sewage point source dischargers 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 September 30, 2025.
To ensure that verification is complete in time for credit availability to be posted on the Department web site, facilities are encouraged to provide the Department with their verification requests by October 28th of each year. Verification requests must include a complete Annual Chesapeake Bay Spreadsheet for the compliance year in which the credits were generated (that is, October 1 through September 30). The Annual Chesapeake Bay Spreadsheet is available at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading (in the ''Have credits to sell?'' section). Verification forms and instructions are found on the ''Credit Trading Process'' page at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading.
The Department will accept written comments on this notice for credit certification through Monday, September 13, 2021. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail must include the commentator's name and address. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment tool at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment or by e-mail to email@example.com. Written comments can be mailed to the Policy Office, Department of Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063. Use ''Mass Certification''' as the subject line in written communication.
For further information about this action or the Department's Trading Program, contact the Division of Data Management, 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 Trading Program web site at www.dep.pa.gov/nutrient_trading.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-1280. Filed for public inspection August 13, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]
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