Municipal Stormwater Permit Renewals in Pennsylvania Announced

November 2011Newsletters In the Zone

On September 17, 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection advertised the renewal of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (PAG-13).

The current PAG-13 permit was previously extended by nine months and is scheduled to expire at midnight on June 11, 2013. The term of the renewal PAG-13 is from March 16, 2013, and continues for five years to midnight on March 15, 2018.

General Permit PAG-13 addresses stormwater discharges from certain small municipal separate storm sewer systems (small MS4s). The federal regulations define a “small MS4” as all separate storm sewers owned or operated by the United States, a state, city, town, borough, county, parish, district, association or other public body (including state departments of transportation, universities, local sewer districts, hospitals, military bases and prisons) having jurisdiction over disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, stormwater or other wastes, including special districts under state law, such as a sewer district, that discharge to waters of the United States.
Within a municipality, small MS4s are designated as “regulated” primarily on the basis of whether they are located within an “urbanized area” as determined by the 1990 and 2000 censuses.

As with the previous edition of the general permit, municipalities must develop minimum control measures in six categories: (1) public outreach and education; (2) public participation and involvement; (3) illicit discharge detection and elimination; (4) construction activities greater than one acre; (5) post-construction in new and redeveloped areas; and (6) good housekeeping for municipal operations.

According to PADEP Secretary Krancer, each municipality regulated by the new permit will have the flexibility to develop and implement its own Chesapeake Bay Pollutant Reduction Plan, which can account for local conditions and allow for local decision-making. Municipalities will also be able to rely on the state’s existing robust post-construction stormwater control requirements to address their construction and post-construction related control measures.

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