Availability of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System PAG-12 General Permit for Operation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (PAG-12)
[48 Pa.B. 1898]
[Saturday, March 31, 2018]
Under the Federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1251—1388), The Clean Streams Law (35 P.S. §§ 691.1—691.1001) and sections 1905-A, 1917-A and 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. §§ 510-5, 510-17 and 510-20), the Department of Environmental Protection (Department), by this notice, informs the public of the availability of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) PAG-12 General Permit for Operation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) (40 CFR 122.23(b)(2)) (relating to concentrated animal feeding operations (applicable to State NPDES programs, see § 123.25))).
The PAG-12 General Permit provides NPDES permit coverage to persons who own or operate CAFOs that must obtain permit coverage under State (25 Pa. Code § 92a.29(a)—(d) (relating to CAFO)) and Federal (40 CFR 122.23(a)) regulations.
The PAG-12 General Permit will become effective on April 1, 2018, and will expire on March 31, 2023. All permittees with existing coverage under the PAG-12 General Permit will be automatically covered under the reissued General Permit on April 1, 2018, and will be subject to the terms and conditions of the reissued General Permit.
Notice of the availability of a draft PAG-12 General Permit was published at 48 Pa.B. 575 (January 20, 2018). A 30-day comment period was provided, and interested parties were directed to submit comments to the Department's eComment system. The comment period ended on February 20, 2018. The Department received comments from 13 individuals and organizations during the comment period. A comment and response document has been developed by the Department.
The following significant changes were made to the final PAG-12 General Permit documents in comparison to the draft General Permit published on January 20, 2018:
• The due date for CAFO annual reports and annual Notice of Intent (NOI) fees has been changed from December 1 to January 1. This change will allow permittees additional time to complete annual reports and submit fees. The reporting period for the annual report has not changed (October 1—September 30). As a result of the change to the due date, the Department was able to modify the annual report to request the actual capacity of manure storage facilities at the start of the winter period and eliminate duplicative reporting in the general permit.
• The NOI fee for new CAFOs has been eliminated by the Department. Following the first year of coverage under PAG-12, CAFOs will pay an annual NOI fee of $500 by January 1, starting no earlier than January 1, 2020. Existing CAFOs with coverage under PAG-12 will begin paying the annual fee by January 1, 2020. Thereafter, the annual fee will be due no later than January 1 each year of general permit coverage.
• The NOI Instructions were modified to specify that the Department's Southcentral Regional Office will be the recipient of all PAG-12 NOIs, regardless of where the CAFO is located in this Commonwealth. Annual reports and other notifications will still be sent to the Department office that has jurisdiction over the county where the CAFO is located.
• The Department has modified the requirement for CAFOs operating under PAG-12 to complete daily inspections of water lines including drinking water or cooling water lines. In the final PAG-12 General Permit, only those CAFOs with at least 700 mature dairy cows (whether milked or dry) or 1,000 cattle, or both, other than mature dairy cows or veal calves will be required to complete daily inspections of water lines.
• A requirement for the annual review of nutrient management plans has been removed from the final PAG-12 General Permit, and the CAFO Annual Report has been revised to require confirmation from the permittee that an annual review has been completed to comply with the nutrient management regulations.
• The language in the draft PAG-12 General Permit concerning the requirement to maintain operation and maintenance (O&M) plans for all manure storage facilities has been revised. O&M plans must be maintained onsite for all manure storage facilities that were constructed under a Water Quality Management permit or had been developed as a result of prior permit coverage.
Other changes have been made as described in the PAG-12 Comment and Response document and Fact Sheet.
The General Permit package can be accessed through the Department's eLibrary web site at http://www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary (select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' then ''Clean Water,'' then ''PAG-12 General Permit'').
In accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 92a.84(c)(2) (relating to public notice of general permits), the Department will publish notice of receipt of every PAG-12 NOI (form 3800-PM-BCW0032b) and every approval of coverage under the PAG-12 General Permit in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-499. Filed for public inspection March 30, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]
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