Friday, January 8, 2021

Public Invited To Submit Comments On Changes To DEP General Permit For Stormwater Associated With Mining Activities

The Department of Environmental Protection published
notice in the January 9 PA Bulletin inviting comments on proposed changes to the NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Associated with Mining Activities (BMP GP-104).  Comments are due February 8.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required DEP to make extensive changes to BMP GP-104 that will impact existing and potential operators. The proposed modifications to BMP GP-104 include the following:

-- Expiration date of coverage: Coverage under this draft general permit would expire on the date the master General Permit expires. Coverage will no longer extend for 5 years from the date the operator is granted coverage. 

Those operators who currently have an authorization with existing coverage past February 2021 will receive a notice when the reissued permit has been published as final that will provide these operators the option to certify their acceptance of the reissued permit or apply for an individual NPDES permit. 

If they certify acceptance of the reissued permit, their coverage expiration date will revert to the expiration date of the reissued permit (2026). No additional fee will be required. 

New or reapplication for coverage (including renewal) will be issued under the 2021 reissuance of the permit and will all have the same 2026 expiration date regardless of the date coverage goes into effect. 

The Department is developing a process for easy renewal of coverage for those operators that need to continue coverage under the general permit after 2026.

-- Use in impaired watersheds: This general permit can be used in impaired watersheds with some qualifications. No point source discharges are allowed to streams impaired for sediment-related causes under BMP GP-104. 

An applicant whose activities occur in a watershed designated as impaired for sediment-related causes will be required to implement nondischarging BMPs to account for all potential discharge. If the applicant cannot do this, they must obtain an individual NPDES permit. Additional content has been added to the Notice of Intent for this requirement.

-- Effluent limits: Limits were changed to eliminate the 30-day average and Daily Maximum. Only an instantaneous maximum limit is included. This change was made to reflect operator sampling conducted mostly as a result of precipitation events where averages over several days or weeks could not be calculated. 

Additional requirements have been added to require minimized exposure of manufacturing, processing and material storage areas (including loading and unloading, storage, disposal, cleaning, maintenance and fueling operations) to rain, snow, snowmelt and runoff in order to minimize pollutant discharges.

-- Standard conditions and definitions were updated to reflect consistency with the other revisions or current requirements.

-- Applicability is extended to all noncoal general permits and to government-financed construction contracts/projects to reclaim coal mining areas.

Click Here for a copy of the draft General Permit GP-104.

Comments can be submitted through DEP’s eComment webpage, by email to: and by other methods outlined in the PA Bulletin notice.

Questions should be directed to Sharon Hill at or 717-787-6842.

[Posted: January 8, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner