The proposed Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit remand rule was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. A 75 day public comment period begins with this publication and will conclude on March 21, 2016. The official rule is located here. WEF has been working with EPA on this rule by facilitating engagement with MS4 Phase II communities to provide EPA with input.
This webcast will discuss background on the rule and its potential impacts to communities throughout the U.S., in order to increase the knowledge base of the regulated community and public. Experts will be available to discuss details of the proposed rule and available to address participant questions and concerns. The webcast registration is now open!
The proposed rule is the result of a mid-September settlement approved by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Center Inc. That settlement requires EPA to revise its MS4 Phase II permits, which affects small communities with populations below 100,000. The agency is obligated to issue a final MS4 rule by Nov. 17, 2016 under the terms of the settlement. EPA is also required to determine by May 26, 2016 if it will regulate stormwater runoff from forest roads.
The settlement resulted in the petitioners agreeing to withdraw a December 2014 lawsuit against EPA focused on claims that EPA did not implement requirements of a 2003 Ninth Circuit court ruling on Phase II MS4 permits and forest road stormwater runoff. The 2003 ruling required EPA to address procedural issues within the Phase II rule related to issuing Notices of Intent under the small MS4 General Permit option. According to the 2003 case, without public review and approval of permits, the rule lacked assurance that regulated communities would reduce stormwater pollution to the maximum extent practicable as required by the Clean Water Act.
WEF will continue to engage EPA and will be providing comments during the rule’s public participation period. WEF will assemble its respective committees to review the rule and provide focused comments designed to improve the proposed rule.
There will be 1.5 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) offered for this webcast. Please check with your state accreditation agency to determine if you qualify. The PDH instructions will be sent to all attendees 24 hours after the webcast has ended.