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How Will PADEP’s Updated PAG-03 General Permit Affect My Facility?

Posted: March 14th, 2022

Authors: Michael B.  Paul H. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) announced on September 18, 2021 that the existing industrial stormwater NPDES general permit (PAG-03), which was due to expire on September 23, 2021, was being administratively extended until September 23, 2022 while PADEP drafted a new permit.  On January 22, 2022, PADEP announced that the proposed draft PAG-03 permit was available for review and public comment until February 22, 2022.  ALL4 is providing a summary of the most significant proposed changes having the potential to impact the regulated community.

New and Revised Benchmark Values

PADEP proposed the following new or revised benchmark values:

  • Add a monitoring and reporting requirement for Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus to all appendices without specifying a numeric value.
  • Add a monitoring requirement for Oil & Grease to Appendices B (Primary Metals) and U (Fabricated Metal Products) with a proposed value of 30 mg/L.
  • Add a monitoring requirement for Chemical Oxygen Demand to Appendix O (Automobile Salvage Yards) with a proposed value of 120 mg/L.
  • Increase Total Suspended Solids from 100 mg/L to 150 mg/L for all appendices.

In addition to these proposed modifications, the draft permit would require facilities exceeding benchmark values for four consecutive reporting periods to submit a Stormwater BMP checklist (3800-PM-BCW0083L) in addition to the currently required Corrective Action Plan.  The draft version of this checklist includes appendix-specific best management practices (BMPs) – in some cases up to 21 of them – and requires the permittee to provide a reason why each of these BMPs is either infeasible or not implementable.

Steam Electric Generating Facilities

PADEP proposed to not require industrial stormwater coverage for the following Appendix H facilities:

  • Ancillary facilities (e.g., fleet centers and substations) that are not contiguous to a steam electric generating facility;
  • Gas turbine facilities and combined cycle facilities where no supplemental fuel oil is burned, and where the gas turbine or combined cycle facility is not a dual fuel facility that includes a steam boiler; and
  • Cogeneration facilities (combined heat and power) utilizing a gas turbine.

Changes to Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

PADEP is proposing the following changes or clarifications regarding stormwater monitoring and reporting:

  • PADEP is clarifying that once per year the permit-required semi-annual routine inspections conducted during a stormwater discharge event must be conducted during a qualifying storm event (greater than 0.1-inch rainfall and greater than 72 hours from the previous storm event), not just any precipitation/discharge event.
  • PADEP proposes to clarify that facilities with structural stormwater BMPs in place and that do not discharge during the reporting period may report “no discharge” on their discharge monitoring reports (DMR). These facilities must still provide at least one sample result on their next renewal application Notice of Intent (NOI).
  • PADEP added a note on what would be considered a good practice, in that an NOI should be submitted when a new outfall is identified and/or proposed at the facility.
  • PADEP added provisions relating to storing vehicle and equipment maintenance materials under storm resistant coverings while protecting these materials from spills, ensuring containers are sealed and properly stored after use and when empty, and maintaining the accessibility of all outfall locations for sampling and inspections.
  • Requirements for bypasses have been removed from the updated PAG-03, as they are not applicable to stormwater treatment facilities unless they are constructed and operated as sewage treatment facilities.

Requesting Coverage and Renewals

PADEP intends to notify PAG-03 permittees of the revised mechanism to maintain coverage under a modified or reissued PAG-03, but as of this writing, there are limited details on specifics.  The existing $2,500 NOI fee will remain unchanged but in the new PAG-03 permit will be paid in annual $500 increments due by May 1.

After any public comments and EPA concerns are addressed, PADEP will move forward with finalizing the draft PAG-03. ALL4 is continuing to monitor developments related to PAG-03 and we will be providing timely updates as they become available. For more information regarding this or other topics related to stormwater and wastewater, please contact Michael Burfield of ALL4 at mburfield@all4inc.com.


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