[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 80 (Tuesday, April 26, 2022)]
[Pages 24557-24559]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-08819]



[FRL-SAN 9599-01-R1]

Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permits for 
Dewatering and Remediation Activity Discharges in Massachusetts and New 
Hampshire, Federal Facilities in Vermont, and Indian Country in 
Connecticut and Rhode Island: The Dewatering and Remediation General 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Availability of DRAFT NPDES General Permits 
MAG910000, NHG910000, VTG910000, CTG910000, and RIG910000.


SUMMARY: The Director of the Water Division, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency--Region 1 (EPA), is providing a notice of 
availability of draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 
(NPDES) general permits for discharges from sites engaged in certain 
dewatering and remediation activities to certain waters in the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire, sites in 
Connecticut and Rhode Island located on Indian Country lands, and 
federal facilities in Vermont. The draft NPDES general permits 
establish electronic Notice of Intent (NOI), Change Notice of Intent 
(CNOI), and Notice of Termination (NOT) requirements, discharge 
limitations and requirements, standard and special conditions, and best 
management practice (BMP) requirements for sites that discharge 1.0 
million gallons per day or less. These general permits replace the 
Dewatering General Permit (DGP) that expired on April 24, 2020, and the 
Remediation General Permit (RGP) that expires on April 8, 2022. The 
Draft General Permit is available on EPA Region 1's website. The fact 
sheet for the draft general permit sets forth principal facts and the 
significant factual, legal, methodological, and policy questions 
considered in the

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development of the draft general permit and is also available at this 

DATES: Comment on the draft general permits must be received on or 
before May 26, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the draft DRGP shall be submitted by one of the 
following methods: (1) Email: [email protected]; or (2) Hard Copy: 
U.S. EPA Region 1, Attn: Shauna Little, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 
100, Mail Code OEP06-4, Boston, MA 02109-3912. Due to the COVID-19 
National Emergency, if comments are submitted in hard copy form, please 
also email a copy to the EPA contact above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Additional information concerning the 
draft general permits may be obtained between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from Shauna Little, 
U.S. EPA Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Mail Code 06-4, 
Boston, MA 02109-3912; telephone: 617-918-1989; email: 
[email protected]. Following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance 
and specific state guidelines impacting our regional offices, EPA's 
workforce has been directed to telework to help prevent transmission of 
the coronavirus. While in this workforce telework status, there are 
practical limitations on the ability of Agency personnel to allow the 
public to review the administrative record in person at the EPA Boston 
office. However, any electronically available documents that are part 
of the administrative record can be requested from the EPA contact 

    General Information: EPA is proposing to reissue two general 
permits for discharges from sites engaged in four types of dewatering 
and remediation activities: (1) Site remediation; (2) Site dewatering; 
(3) Infrastructure dewatering/remediation; and (4) Material dewatering 
for four types of wastewaters: (1) Groundwater; (2) Stormwater; (3) 
Potable water; and (4) Surface water. While the draft general permits 
were two distinct permits, because of the similarities in both 
activities and wastewaters, EPA has combined them together in a single 
document and has provided a single fact sheet. This document refers to 
the draft general ``permit'' in the singular. The draft general permit 
includes effluent limitations and requirements based on technology-
based considerations, best professional judgment (BPJ), and water 
quality considerations. The effluent limits established in the draft 
general permit assure that the surface water quality standards of the 
receiving water(s) are attained and/or maintained. The permit also 
contains BMP requirements in order to ensure EPA has the information 
necessary to ensure compliance and to ensure discharges meet water 
quality standards.
    Obtaining Authorization: To obtain authorization to discharge, 
operators must submit a complete and accurate NOI containing the 
information described in the draft general permit using EPA's NPDES 
eReporting Tool (NeT) to electronically prepare and submit the e-NOI 
for coverage under the DRGP, unless an operator requests and receives a 
waiver from EPA Region 1. Operators with existing discharges must 
submit a NOI within 90 days of the effective date of the final general 
permit. Operators with new discharges must submit a NOI at least 30 
days prior to initiating discharges and following the effective date of 
the final general permit. The effective date of the final general 
permit will be specified in the Federal Register publication of the 
Notice of Availability of the final permit. Operators must meet the 
eligibility requirements of the general permit prior to submission of a 
NOI. An operator will be authorized to discharge under the general 
permit upon receipt of written notice from EPA. EPA will authorize the 
discharge 30 days following submission of a NOI, unless additional 
information is requested, which will place the 30 day period on hold. 
If an operator is required to apply for an alternative permit or an 
individual permit, EPA will inform the operator in writing.
    Other Legal Requirements: Endangered Species Act (ESA): In 
accordance with the ESA, EPA has updated the provisions and necessary 
actions and documentation related to potential impacts to endangered 
species from sites seeking coverage under the draft general permit. 
Concurrently with the public notice of the draft general permit, EPA 
will initiate an informal consultation with the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA 
Fisheries) under ESA section 7, through the submission of a letter and 
biological assessment (BA) summarizing the results of EPA's assessment 
of the potential effects to endangered and threatened species and their 
critical habitats under NOAA Fisheries jurisdiction as a result of 
EPA's issuance of the draft general permit. In this document, EPA has 
made a preliminary determination that the proposed issuance of the 
draft general permit is not likely to adversely affect the shortnose 
sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon, or designated critical habitat for 
Atlantic sturgeon, as well as coastal protected whales and sea turtles. 
EPA will request that NOAA Fisheries review this submittal and inform 
EPA whether it concurs with this preliminary finding.
    In addition, EPA has concluded that the DRGP is consistent with 
activities analyzed in the USFWS January 5, 2016, Programmatic 
Biological Opinion (PBO) regarding the threatened northern long-eared 
    Essential Fish Habitat (EFH): Under the 1996 Amendments (PL 104-
267) to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (1998)), EPA is required to consult with NOAA 
Fisheries if EPA's actions or proposed actions that it funds, permits 
or undertakes ``may adversely impact any essential fish habitat.'' 16 
U.S.C. 1855(b). EPA has determined that the permit action may adversely 
affect the EFH of designated species. The draft general permit has been 
conditioned to minimize any impacts that reduce the quality and/or 
quantity of EFH. Additional mitigation is not warranted under Section 
305(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Concurrent with the public 
notice of the draft general permit, EPA will initiate consultation with 
NOAA Fisheries by providing this determination for their review. 
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA): Activities which adversely 
affect properties listed or eligible for listing in the National 
Registry of Historic Places under the NHPA are not authorized to 
discharge under the draft general permit. Operators must review all 
reasonable information to ensure that activities are not subject to 
this limitation on coverage and provide certification in the NOI 
submitted to EPA.
    Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA): The CZMA, l6 U.S.C. 145l et 
seq., and its implementing regulations (15 CFR part 930) require a 
determination that any federally licensed activity affecting the 
coastal zone with an approved Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) is 
consistent with the CZMA. Concurrent with the public notice of the 
draft general permit, EPA will request that the Executive Office of 
Environmental Affairs, MA CZM, provide a consistency concurrence that 
the proposed draft general permit is consistent with the MA CZMPs.

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

David Cash,
Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.
[FR Doc. 2022-08819 Filed 4-25-22; 8:45 am]