[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 112 (Wednesday, June 11, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33548-33549]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-13593]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9909-32-Region 2]


Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permit for Small 
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico and Federal Facilities Within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Draft NPDES General Permit.

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SUMMARY: The Director of the Caribbean Environmental Protection 
Division (CEPD), Environmental Protection Agency--Region 2 (EPA), is 
issuing this Notice of a Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination 
System (NPDES) general permit, PRR040000/PRR04000F, for discharges from 
small municipal separate storm sewer systems (small MS4) from urbanized 
areas within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to waters of the United 
States. This draft NPDES general permit establishes Notice of Intent 
(NOI) requirements, standards, prohibitions and management practices 
for discharges of storm water from small MS4s urbanized areas. A prior 
Notice of Availability of a draft general permit was issued by EPA in 
November 2005. EPA has substantially modified the draft general permit 
and is issuing a new draft general permit pursuant to 40 CFR part 124.

DATES: Public comments must be received on or before August 11, 2014. 
Within the comment period, interested persons may request a public 
hearing pursuant to 40 CFR part 124 concerning the proposed permit. 
Requests for a public hearing must be sent or delivered in writing to 
the same address as provided below for public comments prior to the 
close of the comment period. Requests for a public hearing must state 
the nature of the issues proposed to be raised in the hearing. Pursuant 
to 40 CFR part 124, EPA shall hold a public hearing if it finds, on the 
basis of requests, a significant degree of public interest in a public 
hearing on the proposed permit. If EPA decides to hold a public 
hearing, a public notice of the date, time and place of the hearing 
will be made at least 30 days prior to the hearing.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments by one of the following methods:
    1. Mail: Multimedia Permits and Compliance Branch, US EPA Region 2, 
City View Plaza II, Suite 7000, 48 Road 165 Km 1.2, Guaynabo, Puerto 
Rico 00968-8069.
    2. Email: [email protected].
    The draft permit is based on an administrative record available for 
public review at EPA--Region 2, Caribbean Environmental Protection 
Division, City View Plaza II, Suite 7000, 48 Road 165 Km 1.2, Guaynabo, 
Puerto Rico 00968-8069. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying 
requests. However, the draft general permit and fact sheet are 
available at EPA's Web site: www.epa.gov/region02/water/permits.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Additional information concerning the 
draft permit may be obtained between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 
p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays from: Sergio Bosques, 
Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, US EPA Region 2, City View 
Plaza II, Suite 7000, 48 Road 165 Km 1.2, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00968-
8069; telephone: 787-977-5870; or email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EPA is proposing to reissue the draft NPDES 
general permit for the discharge of stormwater from small MS4s to 
waters within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The permit describes 
three distinct small MS4s. These are the conventional cities and towns; 
Non-Conventional state, federal and other publicly owned systems; and 
Non-Conventional transportation systems.
    The conditions in the draft permit are established pursuant to 
Clean Water Act (CWA) Part 402(p)(3)(iii) to ensure that pollutant 
discharges from small municipal separate storm sewer systems (small 
MS4s) are reduced to the maximum extent practicable (MEP), protect 
water quality, and satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements 
of the CWA. The term small municipal separate storm sewer system is 
available in 40 CFR part 122.26(b). In addition, this term also 
includes systems similar to separate storm sewer systems and flood 
management conveyances in municipalities such as military bases, large 
hospital or prison complexes, highways, and flood control pump 
stations, and other thoroughfares. The term does not include separate 
storm sewers in very discrete areas, such as individual buildings. For 
example, an armory located in an urbanized area would not be considered 
a regulated small MS4.
    The draft general permit sets forth the requirements for the small 
MS4 to ``reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent 
practicable, including management practices, control techniques, and 
system, design and engineering methods'' (See Section 402(p)(3)(B)(iii) 
of the CWA). MEP is the statutory standard that establishes the level 
of pollutant reductions that MS4 operators must achieve. EPA believes 
that implementation of best management practices (BMPs) designed to 
control storm water runoff from the MS4 is generally the most 
appropriate approach for reducing pollutants to satisfy the MEP 
standard. Pursuant to 40 CFR 122.44(k), the draft permit contains BMPs, 
including development and implementation of a comprehensive stormwater 
management program (SWMP) as the mechanism to achieve the required 
pollutant reductions.

[[Page 33549]]

    Section 402(p)(3)(B)(iii) of CWA also authorizes EPA to include in 
an MS4 permit ``such other provisions as [EPA] determine[s] appropriate 
for control of . . . pollutants.'' This provision forms a basis for 
imposing water quality-based effluent limitations (WQBELs), consistent 
with the authority in Section 301(b)(1)(C) of the CWA. See Defenders of 
Wildlife v. Browner, 191 F.3d 1159, 1166-67 (9th Cir. 1999); 64 FR 
68722, 68753, 68788 (Dec. 8, 1999). Accordingly, the draft permit 
contains the water quality-based effluent limitations, expressed in 
terms of BMPs, which EPA has determined are necessary and appropriate 
under the CWA.
    EPA issued a final general permit to address stormwater discharges 
from small MS4s on November 6, 2006. The 2006 general permit required 
small MS4s to develop and implement a SWMP designed to control 
pollutants to the maximum extent practicable and protect water quality. 
This draft permit builds on the requirements of the previous general 
permit.
    EPA views the MEP standard in the CWA as an iterative process. MEP 
should continually adapt to current conditions and BMP effectiveness. 
Compliance with the requirements of this general permit will meet the 
MEP standard. The iterative process of MEP consists of a municipality 
developing a program consistent with specific permit requirements, 
implementing the program, evaluating the effectiveness of the BMPs 
included as part of the program, then revising those parts of the 
program that are not effective at controlling pollutants, then 
implementing the revisions, and evaluating again. The changes contained 
in the draft general permit reflect the iterative process of MEP. 
Accordingly, the draft general permit contains more specific tasks and 
details than the 2006 general permit.
    EPA has explained in the draft general permit fact sheet a summary 
of permit conditions. The draft general permit and fact sheet are 
available at EPA's Web site: www.epa.gov/region02/water/permits.html.

Other Legal Requirements

A. Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    The provisions related to the ESA have been enhanced from those in 
the 2006 draft permit. EPA will be requesting concurrence from the 
appropriate Federal services (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 
National Marine Fisheries Service) in connection with the 2014 draft 
and has renewed this request for the new Draft Permit.

B. Executive Order 12866

    EPA has determined that this general permit is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under the terms of Executive Order 12866 and is 
therefore not subject to OMB review.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements of this permit were 
previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., 
and assigned OMB control number 2040-0004.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
requires that EPA prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for rules 
subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) that have a significant 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. However, general 
NPDES permits are not ``rules'' subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 
553(b) and are therefore not subject to the RFA.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 201 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), Public Law 
104-4, generally requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of 
their ``regulatory actions'' (defined to be the same as ``rules'' 
subject to the RFA) on tribal, state, and local governments and the 
private sector. However, general NPDES permits are not ``rules'' 
subject to the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and are therefore not 
subject to the RFA or the UMRA.

    Authority: This action is being taken under the Clean Water Act, 
33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

    Dated: April 9, 2014.
Jos[eacute] C. Font,
Director, Caribbean Environmental Protection Division.
[FR Doc. 2014-13593 Filed 6-10-14; 8:45 am]
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