NPDES Update: 2022 Dewatering & Remediation General Permit
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has reissued the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Dewatering General Permit (DGP) and Remediation General Permit (RGP) as a combined Dewatering and Remediation General Permit (DRGP). The DRGP is a general permit for discharging select wastewaters generated during dewatering and remedial activities, to certain surface water bodies. The 2022 DRGP became effective on August 31, 2022, in Massachusetts, and August 2, 2022 in New Hampshire, federal facilities in Vermont, and federally recognized tribal lands in Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Which discharges and dewatering/remediation activities are authorized under the 2022 DRGP?
The 2022 DRGP authorizes discharges of the following wastewaters:
- Potable Water
- Surface Water
The 2022 DRGP authorizes discharges from the following dewatering/remediation activities:
- Site remediation
- Site dewatering
- Infrastructure dewatering/remediation
- Material dewatering
What are the changes from the 2017 DGP and RGP?
Submittals for the 2022 DRGP, including Notices of Intent (NOIs), Change Notices of Intent (CNOIs), and Notices of Termination (NOT) will now be filed through the U.S. EPA NPDES e-reporting tool (NeT). Some of the additional changes noted in the 2022 DRGP include:
- Potential discharges are grouped based on source water (e.g., groundwater, stormwater), and minimum testing requirements per source water have been established for NOI submittals.
- Effluent limitations have been reviewed and select parameters have been revised based on numeric State Water Quality Criteria.
- Effluent limitations have been added based on Impaired Waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads.
- Revisions have been made with regard to wastewater, receiving water, and Whole Effluent Toxicity testing, including reductions in sampling frequencies, changes to test methods and minimum levels, reporting requirements, and reductions in sampling requirements for treatment system startup and shutdown.
- Environmental Justice reviews have been included as part of the NOI submittal process for your activity areas.
If I have an existing authorization under the 2017 DGP or RGP, do these changes affect my project?
Yes, existing discharges authorized under the 2017 DGP or RGP are required to submit a new NOI following the provisions of the 2022 DRGP, within 90 days of the effective date of the DRGP. If you continue to discharge under a previous authorization, without filing a new NOI within 90 days, you will be considered discharging without a permit. A new NOI is not required if you submit a NOT before the 90-day period expires.
How do you obtain coverage under the 2022 DRGP for your discharges?
If eligible for coverage under the 2022 DRGP, you can receive authorization to discharge by filing an electronic NOI prepared in accordance with Part 1.4.3 of the DRGP. Coverage under the DRGP will be effective when U.S. EPA has reviewed the NOI, decided that coverage under the DRGP is authorized, and has notified the operator in writing, or 30 days following the submittal of a NOI to U.S. EPA (unless the NOI is placed on-hold by U.S. EPA).
Tighe & Bond Team
If you have questions about the 2022 DRGP, need guidance determining if your project is eligible for coverage, or assistance completing an NOI contact our team with questions.
Michael Martin, Project Manager – Mike is part of Tighe & Bond’s Site Assessment and Remediation group with 21 years of experience in site assessment, remediation, and solid waste industries. He currently serves as Tighe & Bond’s Community of Practice (COP) Regulated Materials Management Chair, leading discussion on current industry regulations and policies.
Colleen Brothers Lawson, Project Environmental Scientist – Colleen is part of Tighe & Bond’s Site Assessment and Remediation group, working on projects under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP 310 CMR 40.0000), and Solid Waste Regulations (310 CMR 19.000). Colleen also has experience with materials management, construction dewatering permitting, development and implementation of comprehensive multi-media assessment programs and compliance monitoring.