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Water: Stormwater

EPA's Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP)


Industrial stormwater has been regulated since the promulgation of EPA’s 1990 stormwater regulations, which established NPDES permit  requirements for “stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity.” EPA’s first MSGP for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity was issued on September 29, 1995, and has since been reissued in 2000 and 2008. EPA’s MSGP applies in areas of the country where EPA remains the NPDES permitting authority and has made the permit available for coverage, which includes four states (Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, all other U.S. territories with the exception of the Virgin Islands, facilities operated by federal operators in four states (Colorado, Delaware, Vermont, and Washington), most Indian Country lands, and a couple of other specifically designated activities in specific states (e.g., oil and gas activities in Texas and Oklahoma) (click here to see the areas where the MSGP applies).

Proposed 2013 MSGP

On September 27, 2013, EPA published in the Federal Register the proposed 2013 MSGP.

EPA has published in a Federal Register (PDF) (2 pp, 197K, About PDF) notice a 30-day extension of the public comment period for the proposed MSGP until December 26, 2013.

The proposed 2013 MSGP provisions are largely similar to the 2008 MSGP; however, some changes have been made to improve permit clarity, to address errors, and to make the permit more streamlined. The proposed 2013 MSGP, once finalized, will replace the 2008 MSGP, which expires September 29, 2013.

Note: EPA has made a technical correction to Part 8 of the proposed MSGP. In the Federal Register notice announcing the proposed permit, and in the fact sheet for the proposed permit, EPA proposed the inclusion of benchmark values for ten parameters in the MSGP for facilities discharging into saltwater: arsenic, cadmium, copper, cyanide, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, and zinc. However, EPA accidentally omitted the inclusion of saltwater parameters for four of these parameters, arsenic, cyanide, mercury, and selenium, from Part 8 of the proposed permit that was published on the MSGP website and included on the permit’s docket. EPA has incorporated the missing saltwater benchmark monitoring requirements into the proposed permit, part 8 (101 pp, 1MB, About PDF). The updated draft of the proposed permit has also been uploaded to the permit’s docket (docket ID EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0803).

EPA's Proposed 2013 MSGP and related documents:

Federal Register Notice (PDF) (6 pp, 225K, About PDF)
Proposed 2013 Multi-Sector General Permit (Parts 1-7) (PDF) (50 pp, 627K, About PDF)
Proposed 2013 Multi-Sector General Permit (Part 8) (PDF) (101 pp, 760K, About PDF)
Proposed 2013 Multi-Sector General Permit (Appendices) (PDF) (189 pp, 1.8MB, About PDF)
Proposed 2013 Multi-Sector General Permit Fact Sheet (PDF) (83 pp, 760K, About PDF)
Short Fact Sheet About the Proposed 2013 Multi-Sector General Permit (PDF) (2 pp, 161K, About PDF)

Expiration of the 2008 MSGP

The 2008 MSGP expired at midnight on September 29, 2013. A new permit to replace it has not been issued. Facilities that obtained coverage under the 2008 MSGP prior to its expiration are automatically granted an administrative continuance of permit coverage. The administrative continuance will remain in effect until a new permit is issued. Those facilities already covered under the 2008 MSGP are not required to submit a new NOI for permit coverage until the MSGP is reissued, and must continue to comply with all of the requirements in the 2008 permit, including requirements for monitoring and reporting.

EPA has extended a memorandum concerning new facilities that begin discharging stormwater associated with industrial activity after September 29, 2013. This memorandum provides a "no action assurance" for the new facilities that comply with the requirements of the 2008 MSGP, subject to particular terms and conditions as set forth in the memorandum. Until the new MSGP is issued, new facilities are unable to file an NOI for coverage under the expired MSGP. Therefore, information for coverage of these new facilities under the terms of the 2008 MSGP is included in the attached memo (PDF) (2 pp, 368K, About PDF).

At this time EPA expects to reissue the MSGP in the spring of 2015. At that time all facilities desiring coverage under the MSGP, including those with administrative continuance under the 2008 MSGP, will need to submit NOIs for permit coverage.

Final 2008 MSGP

On September 29, 2008, EPA announced in the Federal Register (PDF) (7 pp, 112K, About PDF) publication of the final 2008 MSGP (PDF) (247 pp, 4.5MB, About PDF).  The 2008 MSGP provides coverage for industrial facilities (PDF) (7 pp, 250K, About PDF) located in 4 states, most Indian country lands, as well as at various Federal Facilities in several states (see Appendix C of the 2008 MSGP (PDF) (5 pp, 608K, About PDF)), where EPA still remains the NPDES permit authority.

The 2008 MSGP specifies steps that facility operators must take prior to becoming eligible for permit coverage, including submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI), installing stormwater control measures to minimize pollutants in stormwater runoff, and developing a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP). View the general two-page fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 54K, About PDF) summarizing the final 2008 MSGP.

The 2008 MSGP expired at midnight on September 29, 2013. If the MSGP is not reissued prior to this date, it will be administratively continued in accordance with 40 CFR 122.6 and remain in force and effect. All NOIs submitted to the EPA through September 29th will be authorized under the 2008 MSGP upon the conclusion of the review period provided the NOI's authorization is not delayed or denied.

EPA's Final 2008 MSGP and related documents:

How to Become Authorized Under the Final 2008 MSGP

  • Filing an NOI - Industrial facilities are encouraged to file their NOI electronically, using EPA’s fast and easy eNOI system.  Use of the eNOI system has the benefit of providing user-friendly forms, ensuring fast processing, and emailed reminders of monitoring and reporting requirements.
  • Water Locator Tool - The Water Locator Tool helps industrial facilities complete their NOIs by pinpointing each site’s latitude and longitude, approximating the nearest receiving water, and providing information on the impairment status of the water, applicable total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and potential pollutants of concern.
  • List of Tier 2 and Tier 3 Waters - You should consult this list of waters currently designated by states as Tier 2 or Tier 3 for antidegradation purposes to help you complete your NOI.

Developing SWPPPs, Reporting Monitoring Data and Annual Reports, and Other Guidance

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