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NPDES Permits in New England

Draft Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit

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EPA is in the process of creating a new Draft Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit. The draft permit will combine two previously issued draft permits for Massachusetts: the 2010 draft North Coastal Watershed permit and the 2010 draft Interstate, Merrimack, and South Coastal Watersheds permit. In addition, the draft permit will reflect updated 2010 Census urbanized area data. The draft permit, appendices, and fact sheet will be made available on this webpage once completed. A Notice of Availability for the new draft Massachusetts small MS4 general permit will be published in the Federal Register and will be followed by a 90-day public comment period.

Public meeting and public hearing information:

Public Meetings:

No public meetings scheduled at this time. Several informal public meetings throughout Massachusetts will be scheduled once EPA issues the draft permit for public comment.

Public Hearing Information:

No public hearings scheduled at this time. Public hearings will be scheduled once EPA issues the draft permit for public comment.

2010 Census and Designated MS4s

The Bureau of the Census has recently released new 2010 urbanized area data. These data indicate new or expanded urbanized areas in some communities, which may result in the requirement for permit coverage (for operators located in previously unregulated communities) or the expansion of coverage (for operators in currently regulated communities). For more information on communities within Massachusetts that are automatically designated and may require permit coverage see: MA regulated communities.

Permit Process

A Notice of Availability for the Draft Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit and fact sheet will be published in the Federal Register; posted on this website; and emailed or mailed directly to applicable municipalities in Massachusetts covered by the 2003 Small MS4 General permit, additional operators potentially eligible for coverage under this permit, and any other interested parties. Copies of the draft permit and fact sheet (explaining the basis of the permit provisions) will be posted on this website. A 90-day public comment period will follow the Notice of Availability.

Following the close of the comment period, the Regional Administrator will issue a final permit decision. In reaching a final decision on the draft permit, the Regional Administrator will respond to all significant comments and make the responses available to the public. The final permit and response to comments will be posted on this website. A notice of availability for the final permit will be published in the Federal Register.

The effective date of the final permit will be no sooner than the date the final permit is signed and made publicly available. To obtain coverage, Operators will be required to submit a new Notice of Intent (NOI). EPA anticipates that NOIs will be due ninety (90) days after the effective date of the final permit.

History

On May 1, 2003, EPA Region 1 issued its Final General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (2003 small MS4 permit) that covers "traditional" (i.e., cities and towns) and "non-traditional" (i.e., Federal and state agencies) MS4 Operators located in the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This permit expired on May 1, 2008 but remains in effect for authorized Operators until a new permit is issued.

During 2008 – 2010 EPA issued three separate draft Small MS4 General permits to replace the 2003 Small MS4 permit. One for eligible Operators located in the state of New Hampshire and two separate Massachusetts permits; one for Operators located in the North Coastal watershed and the other for those located in the Interstate, Merrimack and South Coastal watersheds.

The Notice of Availability of the draft General Permit for Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) located in North Coastal Massachusetts was published in the Federal Register on February 4, 2010 (See 75 FR 5788). This draft permit covers the North Coastal region, including but not limited to the watersheds of the Charles River and Neponset River. EPA held a public hearing on March 18, 2010 and the public comment period ended March 31, 2010. Copies of the written comments are available.

The Notice of Availability of the draft General Permit for Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems located in the Interstate, Merrimack and South Coastal watersheds in Massachusetts was published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2010 (See 75 FR 67960). EPA held a public hearing on March 9, 2011 and the public comment period for the draft permit ended March 11, 2011. A Federal Register Notice describing the public hearing and the extension of the public comment period was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2011(See 76 FR 8734). A transcript (PDF) (58 pp, 142 K) of the hearing in addition to copies of the written comments are available.

The two Massachusetts draft permits will be incorporated into the new Draft Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit. Information about the previously separate 2010 Massachusetts draft permits is available below.

Information on Previous Permits and Draft Permits

2003 Final General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small MS4s

2010 Draft Massachusetts North Coastal Small MS4 General Permit

2010 Draft Massachusetts Interstate, Merrimack and South Coastal Small MS4 General Permit

Helpful Information and Links

EPA Contacts

Newton Tedder (tedder.newton@epa.gov), 617-918-1038
Glenda Velez (velez.glenda@epa.gov), 617-918-1677

State Contacts

MassDEP
Frederick Civian (Frederick.Civian@state.ma.us), 617-292-5821

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