On January 15, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the long-awaited 2021 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges from industrial activity. Industrial activity may include material handling and storage, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and other activities where runoff from rainfall or snowmelt can come into contact with potential contaminants and transport them directly to a nearby waterway or indirectly via a storm sewer.
The 2021 MSGP covers stormwater discharges from industrial facilities in areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority, which includes Massachusetts and New Hampshire and replaces the 2015 MSGP which expired on June 3, 2020 and has been administratively continued until finalization of the new MSGP. The 2021 MSGP will become effective on March 1, 2021 and will expire on February 28, 2026.
Beginning March 1, 2021, operators who wish to obtain coverage under the 2021 MSGP must submit a new Notice of Intent (NOI) to obtain authorization to discharge. The NOI must include an updated Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), a determination of applicability and filing via EPA’s NeT-MSGP NPDES e-Reporting Tool.
If you are operating under the 2015 MSGP, the deadline for filing the NOI is May 30, 2021. Provided that your NOI is submitted in accordance with this deadline, your authorization under the 2015 MSGP is automatically continued until you have been granted coverage under the 2021 permit or an alternative permit.
If you are a seeking coverage for the first time, the deadline for filing the NOI is at least 30 days prior to commencing discharging as you will not be authorized by EPA for discharge until 30 days after you receive notification from EPA that the NOI is complete.
The following is a brief list of new or modified requirements in the 2021 MSGP:
- Coverage under the MSGP must be posted in a publicly accessible area that includes basic information about the facility, information that informs the public on how to request the facility’s (SWPPP) and how to contact the facility and EPA if stormwater pollution is observed in the stormwater discharge;
- Operators are required to consider implementing enhanced stormwater control measures for facilities that could be impacted by major storm events, such as hurricanes, storm surges, and flood events;
- Indicator Monitoring (to include pH, TSS, COD) for specific sectors must be conducted quarterly for the duration of the permit;
- Monitoring for polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) must be conducted for specific sectors bi-annually during the first and fourth years of permit coverage;
- Sector-specific changes to Benchmark Monitoring and Impaired Waters Monitoring; and,
- Revisions to Additional Implementation Measures requirements for Benchmark Monitoring exceedances.
Please contact Dawn Horter, PG, LSP (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions, assistance in determining whether the 2021 MSGP applies to your facility or assistance with preparing and filing the NOI. More information is also available through EPA’s Industrial Stormwater website: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-industrial-activities