EPA Issues 2021 Industrial Stormwater Permit and Addresses NACWA’s Concerns
(February 24, 2021) – While EPA and the 10 Regional Administrators previously signed the 2021 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for industrial stormwater discharges, it never made it into the Federal Register by January 20 and was caught up in the Biden Administration’s regulatory freeze. This roadblock was removed on February 19 when EPA issued a Federal Register Notice for the final 2021 MSGP and appendices with an effective date of March 1, 2021.
NACWA previously submitted comments to EPA on several concerning elements in the draft permit that would not likely result in tangible water quality improvements. NACWA is pleased to see the final permit made significant and helpful revisions.
The draft MSGP initially proposed universal benchmark monitoring for pH, TSS, and COD for all sectors covered under the permit (including Sector T, Treatment Works). Traditionally, POTWs were not required to conduct benchmark monitoring because they are not significant contributors to water quality exceedances of industrial stormwater discharges. The final 2021 MGSP has eliminated this requirement, which is a positive development for POTWs covered under this permit.
NACWA also had concerns with a provision that required covered industries to implement control measures designed to minimize impacts from stormwater discharges from major storm events that trigger extreme flood conditions. EPA has removed this language in the final permit, which is also a positive development.