Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Point Source Discharges from the Application of Pesticides (PAG-15)
[53 Pa.B. 2810]
[Saturday, May 20, 2023]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is announcing the availability of a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Point Source Discharges from the Application of Pesticides (PAG-15). The draft General Permit and related documents are available online in the Department's eLibrary at www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary/ (select ''Permit and Authorization Packages,'' then ''Clean Water,'' then ''Draft—PAG-15 NPDES General Permit for Point Source Discharges from the Application of Pesticides'').
The PAG-15 General Permit is intended to provide NPDES permit coverage to persons applying pesticides that result in discharges to surface waters of this Commonwealth where applicants meet the eligibility requirements of the PAG-15 General Permit.
The following changes are proposed for the PAG-15 General Permit and related documents:
• Required submission of a renewal Notice of Intent (NOI) for existing permittees to continue coverage under the General Permit.
• Beginning in 2025, the due date of the Annual Report and the annual installment payment of the NOI fee will be due by the anniversary of the expiration date of the General Permit each year. For existing permittees, the due date for the annual installment of the NOI fee in 2024 and the Annual Report covering January 1, 2023—December 31, 2023, will be March 1, 2024.
• Permittees must submit an amendment NOI with a $500 fee for changes in pesticides or treatment areas. The amendment NOI will be separate from the Annual Report.
• The annual installment of the NOI fee for non-exempt facilities must be paid unless the Department approves the permittee's Notice of Termination (3800-PM-BCW0410) before the due date.
• Decision makers who discharge pesticides within the use patterns of this General Permit, but will not meet or exceed an annual threshold amount, will now have coverage under this General Permit without the submission of an NOI.
Other changes are described in the draft fact sheet for the PAG-15 General Permit.
Written Comments: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding the draft PAG-15 General Permit and associated documents through Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment system at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment. Written comments can be submitted by e-mail to ecomment@ pa.gov 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.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-678. Filed for public inspection May 19, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]
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