The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing for public comment a modification to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 2017 Construction General Permit (CGP), which covers eligible stormwater discharges from construction activities in areas where the EPA is the permitting authority. The 45-day public comment period opened on December 12, 2018 and will close on January 28, 2019.
The EPA issued the CGP in January 2017 and the permit became effective on February 16, 2017. Within the period of judicial review after the EPA issued the 2017 CGP, both the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) filed petitions for review of the permit in the D.C. Circuit Court. Based on new information provided to the EPA, the Agency is proposing a permit modification through notice and comment proceedings to clarify the EPA’s intent of certain permit requirements. The proposed modification includes removing examples of the types of parties that could be considered operators in the definition of operator; aligning three requirements that implement the Construction and Development Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELG) and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) more closely with the ELG text; and clarifying individual operator responsibilities in multiple operator scenarios. The litigation has been held in abeyance while the EPA pursues this permit modification.
The proposed modification, if finalized, would replace the existing conditions in the 2017 CGP and relevant fact sheet sections subject to modification, but would not affect any other terms and conditions of the existing permit, including: the eligible coverage area; the number or type of entities eligible to be covered by the permit; nor the five-year permit term of the current 2017 CGP, which will expire on February 16, 2022. The current 2017 CGP remains in effect while the EPA pursues this action. This modification would not affect state-issued CGPs.
The Federal Register Notice, the proposed permit modification, and accompanying fact sheet are now published in the public docket on Regulations.gov (ID# EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0828) and on the EPA’s construction stormwater website. The EPA invites the public to submit comments on the proposed permit modification through the docket.