Regulatory Alert: PADEP Finalizes PAG-03 Permit Effective March 24 2023

On Saturday, December 24, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) finalized the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity (PAG-03). The new PAG-03 permit will become effective on March 24, 2023 and will be issued for a five-year term, expiring March 23, 2028.

Current PAG-03 permit holders are required to submit a renewal Notice of Intent (NOI) to maintain continued coverage by March 23, 2023. Current permit holders do not need to submit a fee with the renewal NOI application. The application forms and instructions are available from the PADEP eLibrary.

There have been significant changes made to the new permit that current permit holders will be subject to on the effective date. A summary of the major changes are listed below:

  • Beginning in 2024, the annual report and annual NOI installment fee will be due by March 23rd.
  • For sites that discharge stormwater from a valve-controlled structure, the new permit requires a visual inspection of the accumulated stormwater prior to discharge. Once discharge has commenced, samples must be collected within the first five minutes. Stormwater must be discharged in such a way that prevents the transport of any accumulated settled solids.
  • There are now target quantitation limits (TQLs) that must be met for analysis of listed pollutants. We recommend providing your analytical laboratory with the listed TQLs for the parameters you are required to sample for, to verify that they can meet these limits.
  • CAP requirements have changed. Beginning March 24, 2023, after two or more consecutive exceedances of benchmark values, a CAP must be developed and submitted within 90 days of the end of the monitoring period triggering the need for the plan. The plan must be implemented immediately or in accordance with a schedule proposed in the CAP. After four or more consecutive exceedances, permittees must consider implementation of all additional stormwater Best Management Practices outlined in the BMP checklist for their applicable appendix. The checklist must be submitted with each subsequent CAP, with detailed explanations for any BMPs that are not implemented.
  • Monitoring requirements have changed, as listed below:
    • Total nitrogen and total phosphorus monitoring has been added to all appendices. Total nitrogen is calculated as the sum of nitrate-nitrite-N and total kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), therefore all PAG-03 permit holders will have three additional parameters to be analyzed under the new permit.
    • A benchmark value for pH of 9.0 has been added to all appendices that require pH monitoring, and pH monitoring has been added to Appendix J (Additional Facilities).
    • Oil and grease monitoring with a benchmark value of 30 mg/L has been added to Appendix B (Primary Metals) and Appendix U (Fabricated Metal Products).
    • COD monitoring with a benchmark value of 120 mg/L has been added to Appendix J (Additional Facilities), Appendix O (Automobile Salvage Yards), Appendix Q (Textile Mills, Apparel, and Other Fabric Products), Appendix R (Printing and Publishing), and Appendix T (Leather Tanning and Finishing).
    • Total aluminum monitoring has been added to Appendix P (Scrap and Waste Recycling Facilities).
    • A benchmark value of 3.0 mg/L for nitrate-nitrite-N has been added to Appendix F (Chemicals and Allied Products).
    • A benchmark value of 30 mg/L for BOD5 has been added to Appendix I (Food and Kindred Products).

Liberty encourages all PAG-03 permit holders to review the new permit in its entirety to ensure you are familiar with all requirements before it goes into effect. If you have questions regarding the new permit requirements or need assistance preparing the renewal NOI, contact Katie Cirone at 800.305.6019.

Additional information can be found in the links below: