[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 244 (Monday, December 21, 2015)]
[Pages 79333-79335]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-32026]



[FLR-9940-43-Region 10]

Proposed Reissuance of NPDES General Permit for Discharges From 
Federal Aquaculture Facilities and Aquaculture Facilities Located in 
Indian Country Within the Boundaries of Washington State (Permit Number 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of proposed reissuance of NPDES General Permit and 
request for public comment.


SUMMARY: The Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10, is proposing to reissue a National 
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for 
Federal Aquaculture Facilities and Aquaculture Facilities Located in 
Indian Country within the Boundaries of Washington State (General 
Permit). The draft General Permit contains effluent limitations, along 
with administrative reporting and monitoring requirements, as well as 
standard conditions,

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prohibitions, and management practices. A fact sheet is available that 
explains the draft General Permit in detail.
    Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1341, requires EPA to 
seek a certification from the State of Washington, and Indian Tribes 
with Treatment as a State for Water Quality Standards, that the 
conditions of the General Permit are stringent enough to comply with 
State water quality standards. The Washington Department of Ecology 
(Ecology) and the Lummi, Makah, Spokane, and Tulalip Tribes have 
provided draft certification that the draft General Permit complies 
with applicable Water Quality Standards. EPA will seek final 
certification from Ecology and tribes prior to issuing the General 
Permit. This is also notice of the draft Sec.  401 certification 
provided by Ecology and tribes. Persons wishing to comment on the draft 
Sec.  401 certifications should send written comments to the contacts 
in the fact sheet.

DATES: The public comment period for the draft General Permit will be 
from the date of publication of this Notice until March 31, 2016. 
Comments must be received or postmarked by no later than midnight 
Pacific Standard Time on March 31, 2016. All comments related to the 
draft General Permit and Fact Sheet received by EPA Region 10 by the 
comment deadline will be considered prior to issuing the General 
    Submitting Comments: You may submit comments by any of the 
following methods. All comments must include the name, address, and 
telephone number of the commenter.
    Mail: Send paper comments to Catherine Gockel, Office of Water and 
Watersheds; USEPA Region 10; 1200 6th Ave., Suite 900, OWW-191; 
Seattle, Washington 98101.
    Email: Send electronic comments to [email protected]. Write 
``Comments on the Draft Aquaculture General Permit'' in the subject 
    Fax: Fax comments to the attention of Catherine Gockel at (206) 
    Hand Delivery/Courier: Deliver comments to Catherine Gockel, EPA 
Region 10, Office of Water and Watersheds, Mail Stop OWW-191, 1200 6th 
Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101-3140. Call (206) 553-0523 before 
delivery to verify business hours.
    Viewing and/or Obtaining Copies of Documents. A copy of the draft 
General Permit and the Fact Sheet, which explains the proposal in 
detail, may be obtained by contacting EPA at 1 (800) 424-4372.
    Copies of the documents are also available for viewing and 
downloading at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/WATER.NSF/NPDES+Permits/General+NPDES+Permits#WA .Requests may also be made to Audrey 
Washington at (206) 553-0523 or [email protected].
    Public Hearing: Persons wishing to request a public hearing should 
submit their written request by March 31, 2016 stating the nature of 
the issues to be raised as well as the requester's name, address, and 
telephone number to Catherine Gockel at the address above. If a public 
hearing is scheduled, notice will be published in the Federal Register. 
Notice will also be posted on the Region 10 Web site, and will be 
mailed to all interested persons receiving letters of the availability 
of the draft General Permit.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Additional information can be obtained 
by contacting Catherine Gockel, Office of Water and Watersheds, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10. Contact information is 
included above.
Other Legal Requirements
    Endangered Species Act [16 U.S.C. 1531 et al.]. Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires Federal agencies to consult with 
NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 
(the Services) if their actions have the potential
    to either beneficially or adversely affect any threatened or 
endangered species. EPA has analyzed the discharges proposed to be 
authorized by the draft General Permit, and their potential to 
adversely affect any of the threatened or endangered species or their 
designated critical habitat areas in the vicinity of the discharges. 
Based on this analysis, EPA has determined that the issuance of this 
permit is not likely to adversely affect any threatened or endangered 
species in the vicinity of the discharge.
    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321 et.seq.] 
and Other Federal Requirements. Regulations at 40 CFR 122.49, list the 
federal laws that may apply to the issuance of permits i.e., ESA, 
National Historic Preservation Act, the Coastal Zone Act 
Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA), NEPA, and Executive Orders, among 
others. The NEPA compliance program requires analysis of information 
regarding potential impacts, development and analysis of options to 
avoid or minimize impacts; and development and analysis of measures to 
mitigate adverse impacts. EPA determined that no Environmental 
Assessments (EAs) or Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) are 
required under NEPA. EPA also determined that CZARA does not apply.
    Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Management and Conservation Act requires EPA to consult with NOAA-NMFS 
when a proposed discharge has the potential to adversely affect a 
designated EFH. The EFH regulations define an adverse effect as ``any 
impact which reduces quality and/or quantity of EFH . . . [and] may 
include direct (e.g. contamination or physical disruption), indirect 
(e.g. loss of prey, reduction in species' fecundity), site-specific or 
habitat-wide impacts, including individual, cumulative, or synergistic 
consequences of actions.'' NMFS may recommend measures for attachment 
to the federal action to protect EFH; however, such recommendations are 
advisory, and not prescriptive in nature. EPA has evaluated the Draft 
General Permit and has made the determination that issuance of the 
General Permit will is not likely to adversely affect EFH.
    Executive Order 12866: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
exempts this action from the review requirements of Executive Order 
12866 pursuant to Section 6 of that order.
    Economic Impact [Executive Order 12291]: The EPA has reviewed the 
effect of Executive Order 12291 on this Draft General Permit and has 
determined that it is not a major rule pursuant to that Order.
    Paperwork Reduction Act [44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.] The EPA has 
reviewed the requirements imposed on regulated facilities in the Draft 
General Permit and finds them consistent with the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1980, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act [5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] The Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that EPA prepare an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis for rules subject to the requirements of the 
Administrative Procedures Act [APA, 5 U.S.C. 553] that have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. However, 
EPA has concluded that NPDES General Permits are not rulemakings under 
the APA, and thus not subject to APA rulemaking requirements or the 
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

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the requirements of the APA, and are, therefore, not subject to the 

    Authority: This action is taken under the authority of Section 
402 of the Clean Water Act as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1342. I hereby 
provide public notice of the Draft General Permit for Federal 
Aquaculture Facilities and Aquaculture Facilities Located in Indian 
Country within the Boundaries of Washington State in accordance with 
40 CFR 124.10.

    Dated: December 14, 2015.
Daniel D. Opalski,
Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, Region 10.
[FR Doc. 2015-32026 Filed 12-18-15; 8:45 am]