Public Notice of Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Operation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (PAG-12)
[52 Pa.B. 6265]
[Saturday, October 1, 2022]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is announcing the availability of a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Operation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (PAG-12). The draft General Permit and related documents are available online at www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary/ (select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' then ''Clean Water,'' then ''PAG-12 NPDES General Permit for Operation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations 3800-PM-BCW0173'').
The PAG-12 General Permit is intended to provide NPDES permit coverage to persons operating Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) within this Commonwealth in satisfaction of State and Federal NPDES permit requirements, as established in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 92a (relating to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting, monitoring and compliance), where the CAFOs meet the eligibility requirements of the PAG-12 General Permit.
The following changes are proposed for the PAG-12 General Permit and related documents:
• The Department is planning to remove the requirement for existing operations that will become CAFOs as a result of new standard animal weights to apply for NPDES permit coverage no later than April 1, 2019, as this requirement is no longer applicable.
• The Department is proposing to remove language in the General Permit concerning possible revocation of coverage or enforcement action in the event a CAFO fails to submit an annual report or pay an annual Notice of Intent (NOI) installment fee because the language is unnecessary (for example, the Department may take appropriate action for any noncompliance, not just failure to submit reports and fees).
• The definitions for 25-year/24-hour storm and 100-year/24-hour storm have been updated to refer to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Atlas 14-point precipitation frequency estimates, which replaced the National Weather Service's Technical Paper 40.
• The Department is proposing to clarify that the Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) must contain a determination of adequate manure storage capacity for the winter period and provide sufficient capacity at the start of winter to implement the NMP for liquid and semisolid manure storage facilities only.
• Clarification is proposed in the General Permit that the regulatory freeboard of 12 inches applies to any manure storage facility that is exposed to direct precipitation (in addition to ponds and impoundments) and the regulatory freeboard of 6 inches applies to any manure storage facility that is not exposed to direct precipitation, on operations with less than 1,000 animal equivalent units.
• Clarification is proposed that in addition to monitoring drainage from leak detection systems beneath ponds and impoundments, monitoring must be done for any manure storage facility that is in-ground or below ground and has a leak detection system.
• The Department proposes to clarify that a Water Quality Management permit is required to construct any manure storage facility that is exposed to direct precipitation (in addition to ponds and impoundments) and will have a liquid and semi-solid manure storage capacity of between 1 and 2.5 million gallons where the nearest downgradient surface water is classified as a High Quality or Exceptional Value Water or is impaired for nutrients due to agricultural activities.
• The Department is proposing to require the inclusion of operation-specific methods for the management or disposal of mass animal mortalities in an operation's Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency Plan or emergency response plan that is required in NMPs. This information would need to be submitted with the NOI to remain covered under PAG-12.
Other changes are described in the draft fact sheet for the PAG-12 General Permit.
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding the draft PAG-12 General Permit and associated documents through Monday, October 31, 2022. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment tool at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment. Written comments can be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail, must include the commentator's name and address. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.
Written comments submitted during the 30-day comment period will be retained by the Department and considered in finalizing the General Permit. The Department will provide an opportunity for any interested person or group of persons, any affected state, any affected interstate agency, the United States Environmental Protection Agency or any interested agency to request or petition for a public hearing with respect to the proposed General Permit. The request or petition for public hearing, which must be filed within the 30-day period allowed for filing of written comments, must indicate the interest of the party filing the request and the reasons why a hearing is warranted. A hearing will be held if there is significant public interest.
RAMEZ ZIADEH, P.E.,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-1521. Filed for public inspection September 30, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]
No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.
This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.