Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Minnesota Antidegradation Rules Revised By MPCA

The MPCA has completed rulemaking to replace the existing nondegradation rules found in Minn. R. ch. 7050 with new antidegradation rules. The new rules became effective on November 21, 2016. One of the notable revisions was MPCA changing terms from nondegradation to antidegradation to be consistent with federal regulations, EPA guidance and other states’ rules and implementation procedures.


Some of the key changes to the antidegradation rules are:
  • Aligning rules with federal antidegradation regulatory policy and EPA guidance.
  • Incorporating two sets of antidegradation standards addressing the differences between individual and general permits.
  • Developing procedures specific to the various activities the MPCA regulates.
  • Providing clarity regarding the information needed of applicants and sequence of actions taken by the MPCA in making antidegradation determinations.
  • Identifing the factors the MPCA considers in conducting reviews.
  • Establishing a process for determining the water quality baseline.
  • Providing limited exemptions from antidegradation procedures.
  • Providing for compensatory mitigation for the loss of existing uses resulting from physical alterations.
Click here for more information on Caltha's Water Quality and Discharge Permitting services.



Monday, October 2, 2017

Transportation Company Needed Technical Support To Address Enforcement Action

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Response To MPCA NOV For Industrial Stormwater Discharges and Non-Storm Water Discharge
Client: Transportation Sector
Location(s): Minnesota


Key Elements:  Compliance with No Exposure Certification, Compliance with prohibition of unauthorized non storm water discharge


Overview:  In a routine compliance inspection of industrial sites which had submitted no exposure certifications (NEC) being conducted by the State, this facility was found to be in non-compliance with both the conditions of the NEC and was also found to be discharging wash water without a permit. The facility was placed in enforcement action to resolve these issues.

Caltha LLP was retained by the facility to assist them in evaluating requirements to meet the NEC and to identify options for addressing unpermitted discharge. Working with facility management, it was determined that costs for necessary corrective actions to comply with the NEC were too high compared to costs to obtain and comply with an industrial stormwater discharge permit. The facility terminated its NEC and applied for permit coverage. Caltha assisted the facility in preparing a facility SWPPP using our Minnesota SWPPP template and a permit compliance plan. Alternate off-site facilities were found to eliminate the discharge of unauthorized wastewater releases from the facility.


For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page.


New York Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act

The Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act ("SPRTK"), which took effect on May 1, 2013, requires owners and operators of publicly owned treatment works ("POTWs") and publicly owned sewer systems ("POSSs") to report untreated and partially treated sewage discharges to DEC and health authorities immediately, but in no case later than two hours from discovery of the discharge. Partially treated sewage discharged directly from a POTW that is in compliance with a DEC approved plan or permit does not need to be reported. The rule also requires owners and operators of POTWs and POSSs to continue reporting for each day after the initial report is made until the discharge terminates. The rule defines a "POSS" as a municipally-owned system that discharges to a POTW owned by another municipality. A POSS is not required to obtain a SPDES permit.


DEC and NYSDOH will use sewage reports to evaluate and respond to incidents based on the severity of the potential environmental and public health impact. Reporting of sewage discharges may be used to assist DEC in making decisions on the closing of shellfish lands pursuant to 6 NYCRR section 41.4 and prohibiting shellfish activities pursuant to 6 NYCRR sections 42.17 and 47.4. DEC will also use sewage reports to direct wastewater utilities to take short term corrective action and to determine wastewater utility liability. DEC may take formal or informal enforcement action against wastewater utilities, including assessment of penalties and the institution of permanent corrective measures.


Reported sewage discharge information may also be used by NYSDOH and local health departments to assess the potential impact on public water supplies pursuant to 10 NYCRR Subpart 5-1 and to take corrective measures, if needed. NYSDOH and local health departments may use this information to provide guidance and assistance to private water supplies when contamination events occur and to make decisions on the regulation of bathing beaches pursuant to Public Health Law section 225 and 10 NYCRR Subpart 6-2.


The proposed rule would require owners and operators of POTWs and POSSs to notify the municipality where the discharge occurred and adjoining municipalities of untreated and partially treated sewage discharges within four hours of discovery. The rule would also obligate these entities to notify the general public of any such discharges to surface water within the same four hour time frame as these discharges may present a threat to public health.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment. Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website


Revision To Arizona Rules on Management of Reclaimed Water

ADEQ is considering changes to all the reclaimed water rules and expects to publish proposed rule changes, likely in the fall of 2016,


Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater from a wastewater treatment plant. A.R.S. § 49-201(32). Reclaimed water has uses such as for irrigation. Using reclaimed water offsets and conserves potable water for human consumption and domestic purposes.


The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) seeks to amend R18-9-704 in order to allow incidental runoff of reclaimed water under certain conditions. This rulemaking would be limited to amending only R18-9-704, as ADEQ is working with stakeholders to consider other changes to the reclaimed water rules.


Indiana Revision To Rules On POTW Interference By Industrial Discharges

Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has proposed a revision to State rules related to industrial pretreatment of wastewater. The pretreatment rules apply to industrial wastes being discharged to a Publically Owned Treatment Works, or POTW. The existing definition of "interference" in State rules is more stringent than the federal definition. IDEM is proposing to amend 327 IAC 5-17-11 to be consistent with 40 CFR 403.3(k).


Existing state rule at 327 IAC 5-17-11 defines "interference" as occurring if one of three listed conditions occurs at the POTW due to a discharge or discharges from other sources. The listed conditions include a discharge or discharges that:
  • inhibit or disrupt the POTW,
  • cause a violation of any of the POTW's NPDES permit requirements, and
  • prevent the use of the POTW's sewage sludge or its sludge disposal method.
The federal definition of "interference" ties the conditions and causing a violation of any requirement of the POTW's NPDES permit together so that all have to occur before interference has occurred


The rule change was preliminarily adopted on 08/10/2016, however an effective date is yet to be determined


Revised EPA Methods For Pesticides,and Organics

EPA has finalized specific changes to analytical test procedures that are used by industries and municipalities to analyze the chemical, physical, and biological components of wastewater and other environmental samples that are required by Clean Water Act regulations and their NPDES permit. The changes include revised EPA methods and revised methods published by voluntary consensus standard bodies, such as ASTM International and the Standard Methods Committee. EPA added certain methods reviewed under the Alternate Test Procedures (ATP) program to Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 40 Part 136 and clarifying the procedures for EPA approval of nationwide and limited use ATPs.
New EPA Methods finalized include 608.3, 611, 624.1 and 625.1
  • EPA Method 608.3, Organochlorine Pesticides and PCBs
  • EPA Method 611, Haloethers.
  • EPA Method 624.1, Purgeables by GC/MS.
  • EPA Method 625.1, Base/Neutrals and Acids by GC/MS.
EPA revised existing Methods 1600, 1603, 1680, and 1682. This rule implements changes for EPA microbiological methods 1600, 1603, 1680, and 1682 that correct typographical or other errors that EPA identified in the methods after publication.


Trade Group Needed Technical Support For Public Comments In Water Standard

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Water Quality Standards Development Public Comment Support
Client: Agricultural Products Sector Trade Group
Location(s): Kansas


Key Elements: Water quality standards development, Public testimony, Public comments


Overview: Caltha LLP provided technical support to the trade group and its members to address proposed water quality standards for atrazine, a widely used herbicide. A draft ambient water quality standard for atrazine was being proposed by the US EPA Office of Water and was being reviewed by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Science Advisory Panel, convened in Washington DC. Caltha reviewed underlying studies and other research which were being used to derive the proposed standards, and provided oral testimony before the SAP on technical concerns regarding the calculation of the proposed standards.


For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page.