EPA Updates General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges

On June 4, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its updated multi-sector general permit (MSGP), which regulates stormwater discharges from industrial facilities. The permit will apply to 29 industrial sectors, including landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, and heavy manufacturing. The permit applies to areas of the U.S. where EPA is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting authority. This includes Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The permit’s provisions are largely similar to the expired MSGP issued in 2008. However, EPA made some changes to streamline the permit, enhance environmental protections, and improve clarity. Some of the most significant changes include

  • revising threatened and endangered species eligibility procedures,
  • adding specifications for several technology-based effluent limits for clarity,
  • making SWPPP information publicly accessible,
  • streamlining stormwater pollution prevention plan documentation,
  • electronic submissions,
  • reducing inspection requirements,
  • including saltwater benchmark values for metals, and
  • including the airport deicing effluent limitation guideline for the air transportation sector.

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