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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 22-1981



Availability of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity (PAG-03)

[52 Pa.B. 7974]
[Saturday, December 24, 2022]

 Under 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 final National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity (PAG-03) for a new 5-year term. The PAG-03 General Permit will become effective on March 24, 2023, and will expire on March 23, 2028.

 The PAG-03 General Permit is intended to provide NPDES permit coverage for discharges of stormwater associated with industrial activity. The PAG-03 General Permit may not be used for discharges to waters designated for special protection under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 (relating to water quality standards) or other discharges that do not meet eligibility requirements of the PAG-03 General Permit.

 Notice of the availability of a draft PAG-03 General Permit was published at 52 Pa.B. 500 (January 22, 2022). A 30-day comment period was provided and the Department received comments and questions from seven different individuals and organizations. The Department received an objection to the issuance of a final PAG-03 General Permit from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on February 22, 2022. Based on changes made in response to public comments and the EPA's objection, the Department published notice of the availability a redraft of the PAG-03 General Permit at 52 Pa.B. 5204 (August 20, 2022). An additional 30-day comment period was provided and the Department received comments and questions from nine different individuals and organizations. A comment and response document has been developed to address the comments received on both drafts.

 Permittees with existing coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit will be required to submit a renewal Notice of Intent (NOI) to maintain continued coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit by March 23, 2023. The Department will transmit notification to all existing PAG-03 permittees explaining the changes to the terms and conditions of General Permit coverage and what steps must be taken for continued coverage.

 The PAG-03 NOI fee is $2,500, to be paid in $500 annual increments. The NOI fee does not apply to entities satisfying the criteria for an exemption under 25 Pa. Code § 92a.26(i) (relating to application fees).

 Changes were made to the final PAG-03 General Permit in comparison to the redrafted PAG-03 General Permit that was published at 52 Pa.B. 5204 (August 20, 2022) as follows:

 • Clarification has been added to the NOI Requirements section of the general permit that, for facilities with existing coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit (effective September 24, 2016), an NOI to remain covered under the reissued PAG-03 must be received by March 23, 2023. As long as an NOI is received by March 23, 2023, an existing PAG-03 permittee can continue to discharge under the reissued PAG-03.

 • Beginning in 2024, the due date of the Annual Report and the NOI fee annual installment payment will be March 23 each year. For existing permittees, the due date for the NOI fee annual installment in 2023 and the Annual Report covering January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022, will be May 1, 2023.

 • Part C II.D (Pollution Prevention and Exposure Minimization) of the General Permit was modified to eliminate the requirement that permittees notify the Department in writing when it is determined that minimizing exposure of manufacturing, processing and material storage areas to precipitation is infeasible.

 • Part C V.A.2.e has been removed. This provision would have prohibited permittees from discharging through valve-controlled stormwater retention structures during dry weather.

 • Part C V.D has been modified to describe the circumstances in which the permittee should submit an NOI to amend PAG-03 coverage or otherwise notify the Department, who will decide when an amendment to coverage is necessary.

 • In Part C V.I.1 and 2, the Department has clarified that the submission of a corrective action plan (CAP) following two consecutive benchmark exceedances and a CAP and Stormwater BMP Checklist (3800-FM-BCW0083l) following four consecutive benchmark exceedances starts as of the effective date of the reissued PAG-03.

 • The sample type for Total Nitrogen in all appendices was changed from ''Grab'' to ''Calculation'' and a footnote was added to explain that Total Nitrogen is the sum of Total Kjeldahl-N (TKN) plus Nitrite-Nitrate as N (NO2 + NO3 − N), where TKN and NO2 + NO3 − N are measured in the same sample.

 The PAG-03 General Permit package can be accessed online through the Department's eLibrary web site at (select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' then ''Clean Water,'' then ''PAG-03 NPDES General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity 3850-PM-BCW0083'').

 In accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 92a.84(c)(3) (relating to public notice of general permits), the Department will publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for every approval of coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-1981. Filed for public inspection December 23, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]

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