EPA Publishes Modified New England Stormwater Permit; Member Feedback Requested

(April 24, 2020) – As part of the ongoing mediation for Massachusetts and New Hampshire’s small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) general permits, EPA published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register of the proposed permit modifications on April 23. EPA is reopening, reexamining, and seeking comments on specific parts of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire MS4 stormwater permits.

In the proposed modified permits for Massachusetts and New Hampshire, EPA has eliminated the problematic “cause and contribute” language and has proposed an alternative, more flexible compliance schedule in situations where it is impracticable for permittees to comply with pollutant reductions. In addition, the modified permits would allow permittees to submit additional analysis demonstrating when meeting requirements under an alternative schedule could be impracticable.

Throughout this mediation, NACWA played an instrumental role working with impacted member utilities and negotiating a favorable settlement that was proposed on December 27, 2019. NACWA submitted comments to EPA in January supporting the settlement agreement.

NACWA is seeking feedback from members on this modified permit and will be submitting comments. Comments are due June 8, 2020.

If members have questions, please contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.