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Deadline Approaching to Comply with EPA's 2021 MSGP Storm Water Discharge Permit

Permitting & Compliance

Deadline Approaching to Comply with EPA's 2021 MSGP Storm Water Discharge Permit

Apr 01, 2021

The USEPA issued the new “2021 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP)” for industrial storm water discharges on January 15, 2021. This permit replaces the 2015 MSGP Permit.  All new and existing industrial storm water discharges, as determined by your facility’s NAIC/SIC code, must apply for coverage under the new Permit by submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) to USEPA or the state, if they have an authorized program.  Your facility’s written storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) will also need to be revised to comply with the new Permit.  The new Permit was effective March 1, 2021.  Deadlines to submit an NOI for Permit coverage are listed below:

EPA's MSGP Deadlines

Facility Type NOI Due Date
Existing MSGP-covered discharges,
previously covered under the 2015 MSGP  

May 30, 2021

New facility with discharges,
that begin after March 1, 2021  

30 calendar days prior to commencing discharge

Existing facility covered under an individual permit,
and now seeking 2021 MSGP coverage

30 calendar days prior to commencing discharge

Existing MSGP-covered discharges
with a new operator
 

30 calendar days prior to the date of transfer to the new operator

Existing discharges not previously covered,
but subject to MSGP coverage

Immediately


SAK Environmental can help

Please contact Stephen Sakakeeny at ssakakeeny@sakenvironmental.com if you need help complying with the new Permit, or have questions.  We have extensive experience with applying for storm water coverage, preparing SWPPPs and managing storm water compliance programs for a wide range of industrial facilities throughout New England.   Not sure if the Permit applies to your facility?  Contact us and we’ll determine that for you.

What’s New in the 2021 MSGP?

The new 2021 MSGP Permit (Permit) has been streamlined and restructured in an effort to improve clarity and readability. A number of new or modified requirements have been made, and discussed in detail in the EPA’s Fact Sheet. A summary of significant changes included in the new Permit are listed below:

  • Public signage: All facilities covered under the new 2021 MSGP Permit will now be required to post a sign containing EPA contact information at a safe, publicly accessible location in close proximity to the facility.
  • Indicator Monitoring for pH, TSS and COD: The Permit includes a new provision that requires certain operators to conduct indicator analytical monitoring for pH, total suspended solids (TSS), and chemical oxygen demand (COD) – quarterly for the duration of the Permit.  These parameters are “report-only” and do not have a threshold or baseline value for comparison, nor does it require follow-up action, unless meeting applicable water quality standards for other provisions of the Permit apply.
  • Indicator monitoring for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): The Permit includes a new provision that requires certain operators to conduct “report-only” indicator analytical monitoring for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) bi-annually (twice per year) during their first and fourth years of permit coverage. This requirement applies to the following operators: operators in all sectors with storm water discharges from paved surfaces that will be sealed or re-sealed with coal-tar sealcoat where industrial activities are located during coverage under this permit; and other industrial sectors as detailed in the Permit.  These parameters are “report-only” and do not have a threshold or baseline value for comparison, nor does it require follow-up action, unless meeting applicable water quality standards for other provisions of the Permit apply.
  • Updated benchmark thresholds for Aluminum, Copper, Selenium, and Cadmium:  The Permit has modified benchmark monitoring for thresholds aluminum, copper for discharges to freshwater, selenium for discharges to freshwater, and cadmium. The Permit is also allowing operators who exceed the revised benchmark thresholds for discharges to freshwater for aluminum and copper to demonstrate to EPA that their discharges do not result in an exceedance of a facility-specific value calculated by the operator using the national recommended water quality criteria multi-variable models in-lieu.
  • Suspended benchmark thresholds for Magnesium and Iron: The Permit suspended the benchmark monitoring thresholds for magnesium and iron due to lack of documented acute toxicity.
  • New benchmark monitoring schedule:  The Permit has a revised (compared to prior permits) benchmark monitoring schedule. Under the new Permit, an operator that does not exceed the four-quarter annual average for a given parameter in the first four quarters of permit coverage can now discontinue benchmark monitoring for that parameter, but only for the next two years (i.e., the next eight quarters).  Quarterly benchmark monitoring resumes for all parameters for another four quarters in the fourth year of permit coverage, and if the operator does not exceed the four-quarter annual average for a given parameter in the fourth year, it can discontinue benchmark monitoring for that parameter for the remainder of their permit coverage.
  • Extended impaired water monitoring: The Permit requires operators discharging to impaired waters without an EPA-approved or -established TMDL to complete annual monitoring for discharges of certain pollutants to impaired waters. Impaired waters monitoring begins in the first year of permit coverage, starting in the first full quarter of permit coverage. Monitoring is required for one year at each discharge point for all pollutants for which the waterbody is impaired (similar to previous permits) after which the operator can discontinue monitoring, but only for the next two years for any pollutant that is not detected. Annual monitoring must continue for any pollutant for which the waterbody is impaired that is detected in the discharge. Required annual monitoring then resumes in the fourth year of permit coverage for one year for those pollutants that are both causing impairments and are associated with the industrial activity and/or are a required benchmark parameter for the operator’s subsector(s), including any pollutant(s) for which the operator previously discontinued monitoring. After monitoring in the fourth year of permit coverage is completed, the operator can discontinue monitoring for the duration of their permit coverage for any pollutant that is not detected.
  • Consideration of enhanced control measures for major storm events: Operators that could be impacted by major storm events (i.e. hurricanes, storm surge, or other flood events) are required to consider the benefits of implementing additional storm water controls to reduce pollutants during such events.  Implementation of controls is not required, but detailed and documented consideration of addition additional controls is required.


SAK Environmental, LLC
231 Sutton Street
Suite 2G
North Andover, MA 01845

Phone: 978-688-7804
Fax: 978-688-7801

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