National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 2020 Issuance of the Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity
All ten of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Regions have asked for public comment on the 2020 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity, also referred to as the “2020 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP)” or the “proposed permit.”
The proposed permit, once finalized, will replace the EPA's existing MSGP that expired on June 4, 2020.
The EPA proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years, and to provide permit coverage to eligible operators in all areas of the country where the EPA is the NPDES permitting authority, including:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- Indian country lands
- Puerto Rico
- the District of Columbia,
- and most U.S. territories and protectorates.
EPA solicited comment on the proposal which closed June 1, 2020. The states of Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Mexico submitted comments requesting EPA require industrial facilities (permitted) to monitor storm-water discharge from their sites for PFAS as well as implement procedures and practices to prevent or minimize PFAS from entering stormwater from their facilities. The proposed permit and fact sheet can be found at epa.gov
Urban stormwater runoﬀ is a source of contamination to surface and ground water and can carry various contaminants including PFAS. Studies have shown that urban waterways receive higher loads of PFAS from stormwater than from POTW effluent. PFAS contamination in stormwater is suspected to originate from commercial and industrial areas that utilize PFAS containing materials.
Material handling and storage, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and other activities at industrial facilities are often exposed to the weather. Runoff from rainfall or snowmelt that comes in contact with these activities can pick up pollutants, and transport them directly to a nearby river, lake, or coastal water or indirectly via a storm sewer and degrade water quality.
If EPA were to adopt the states’ request, it could not only affect those states that fall under EPA NPDES permitting authority but also states that administer their own NPDES programs that usually mirror the federal permit.
The EPA is expected to issue the final 2020 Multi-Sector General Permit sometime this year.
Howard Boorse, Senior Chemist
- Federal Register/Vol. 85, No. 41/Monday, March 2, 2020 Notice
- Murakami, M.; Shinohara, H.; Takada, H. Evaluation of wastewater and street runoff as sources of perfluorinated surfactants (PFSs). Chemosphere 2009, 74, 487–493.
- USEPA Website: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-industrial-activities