EPA signed and issued the 2021 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for industrial stormwater discharges on January 15, 2021. The 2021 MSGP will become effective on March 1, 2021, and will replace the 2015 MSGP. For more information, see EPA’s 2021 MSGP.

June 04, 2020

On June 3, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., the 2015 MSGP expired and EPA did not reissue a new permit prior to its expiration. Therefore, the 2015 MSGP has been administratively continued in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and 40 CFR 122.6 and remains in force and effect for discharges that were covered prior to the 2015 MSGP’s expiration.

Existing Operators

Existing operators do not need to amend their current NOI and do not need re-submit an NOI to be covered by the administratively continued permit. If you obtained authorization to discharge under the 2015 MSGP prior to June 4, 2020, your facility will automatically remain covered after June 4, 2020, until EPA issues a new MSGP and the facility becomes authorized under the new MSGP.

Operators with coverage for their facility under the administratively continued 2015 MSGP are required to continue complying with the permit, including fulfilling monitoring and reporting requirements.

May 31, 2020

The comment period for the 2020 re-issuance of the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) closed on June 1, 2020. EPA will consider all submitted comments during the finalization of the new MSGP.

March 02, 2020

EPA released the proposed NPDES 2020 Multi-Sector General Permit for comments.

The proposed changes are summarized below:

1. Streamlining the permit

EPA proposes to streamline and simplify language throughout the permit to present the requirements in a generally more clear and readable manner.

2. Eligibility for stormwater discharges to a federal CERCLA site

The 2015 MSGP requires facilities in EPA Region 10 that discharge stormwater to certain CERCLA or Superfund sites to notify the EPA Regional Office in advance and requires EPA Regional Office to determine whether the facility is eligible for permit coverage. In the proposed 2020 MSGP,

EPA requests comment on whether this current eligibility criterion should be applied in all EPA Regions for facilities that discharge to Federal CERCLA sites that may be of concern for recontamination from stormwater discharges.

See Part 1.1.7 in the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 1.

3. Eligibility related to application of coal-tar sealcoat

EPA proposes that operators, who will use coal-tar sealcoat to initially seal or to re-seal their paved surfaces where industrial activities are located and thereby discharge polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in stormwater, would be eligible for coverage under the 2020 MSGP only if they eliminate such discharge(s).

Alternatively, operators who wish to pave their surfaces where industrial activities are located with coal-tar sealcoat may apply for an individual permit.

See Part 1.1.8 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 2.

4. Discharge authorization related to enforcement action

EPA proposes to establish a discharge authorization waiting period of 60 calendar days after NOI submission for any operators whose discharges were not previously covered under the 2015 MSGP and who have a pending stormwater-related enforcement action by EPA, a state, or a citizen (to include both NOVs by EPA or a state and notices of intent to bring a citizen suit).

See Part 1.3.3, Table 1-2 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 4.

5. Public sign of permit coverage

EPA proposes that the 2020 MSGP include a requirement that MSGP operators must post a sign of permit coverage at a safe, publicly accessible location in close proximity to the facility.

See Part 1.3.6 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 6.

6. Consideration of major storm control measure enhancements

EPA proposes that operators would be required to consider implementing enhanced measures for facilities located in areas that could be impacted by stormwater discharges from major storm events that cause extreme flooding conditions.

See Part of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 8.

7. Universal benchmark monitoring for all sectors

EPA proposes to require all facilities to conduct benchmark monitoring for three indicator parameters of pH, Total Suspended Solids, and Chemical Oxygen Demand, called universal benchmark monitoring.

See Part 4.2.1 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and requests for comment 10 and 13.

8. Impaired waters monitoring

Under the 2015 MSGP, operators discharging to impaired waters must monitor once per year for pollutants for which the waterbody is impaired and can discontinue monitoring if these pollutants are not detected or not expected in the discharge. EPA proposes to require operators discharging to impaired waters to monitor only for those pollutants that are both causing impairments and associated with the industrial activity and/or benchmarks. The proposal specifies that, if the monitored pollutant is not detected in the discharge for three consecutive years, or it is detected but the operator has determined that its presence is caused solely by natural background sources, operators may discontinue monitoring for that pollutant.

See Part of the proposed permit and fact sheet.

10. Sectors with new benchmarks

The 2015 MSGP does not require sector-specific benchmark monitoring for Sector I (Oil and Gas Extraction), Sector P (Land Transportation and Warehousing), or Sector R (Ship and Boat Building and Repair Yards). Based on the NRC study recommendation which identified potential sources of stormwater pollution from these sectors, EPA proposes to add benchmark monitoring requirements for these three sectors.

See Part 8 of the proposed permit, Parts and 8 of the proposed fact sheet, and request for comment 12.

11. Additional implementation measures

EPA proposes revisions to the 2015 MSGP’s provisions regarding benchmark monitoring exceedances. EPA proposes new tiered Additional Implementation Measures (AIM), that are triggered by benchmark monitoring exceedances. Operators would be required to respond to different AIM levels with increasingly robust control measures depending on the nature and magnitude of the benchmark threshold exceedance.

See Part 5.2 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and requests for comment 21, 22, 23, and 26.

12. Revisions to sector-specific fact sheets

EPA proposes updates to the existing sector-specific fact sheets that include information about control measures and stormwater pollution prevention for each sector to incorporate emerging stormwater control measures.

See Part and Appendix Q of the proposed permit and fact sheet.

EPA Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit 2021

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