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NPDES Permits in New England

Massport Logan International Airport Final NPDES Permit

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Massport was issued a permit for discharging storm water to Boston Harbor on March 1, 1978. The permit expired five years later. However, EPA administratively continued the permit as allowed by regulations. EPA issued a draft permit and fact sheet (which provides EPA's technical basis for establishing effluent limits and monitoring) for public comment on July 25, 2006. After consideration of the comments received during the comment period which ended on October 23, 2006, EPA revised the draft permit. The response to comments document explains and supports the EPA and Mass DEP determinations that form the basis of the final permit.

Generally, the permit increases the amount of monitoring required at Logan and requires effluent limits at the major outfalls. The permit requires effluent limits at three major outfalls: Outfall 001 (North Outfall), Outfall 002 (West Outfall), and Outfall 004 (Maverick Street Outfall) for pH, Oil & Grease, and Total Suspended Solids. For the first time, the permit requires monitoring of the outfalls that drain the runways and the perimeter roadway. During winter storm events, the permit requires Massport to sample the drainage from the runways and the perimeters for ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total ammonia nitrogen, and two toxic additives to deicing agents, nonylphenol and tolyltriazole. The permit also requires WET testing, in order to help determine whether the discharge causes, has the reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an excursion above a numeric or narrative criterion for whole effluent toxicity.

In addition to monitoring, the permit requires Massport and the Co-Permittees to develop and implement a detailed Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The purpose of the plan is to minimize the release of pollutants to Boston Harbor. Pursuant to the SWPPP, Massport and the Co-Permittees are required to develop BMPs to identify and reduce sources of pollution related to deicing and anti-icing, bacteria, fuel and oil, and rubber removal.

Furthermore, the permit requires Massport to perform a Water Quality Study to help increase the understanding of the discharges from the airport to determine whether the discharges cause a water quality violation. As part of the Water Quality Study, Massport is required to calculate a dilution factor for each outfall, for potential use by EPA and MassDEP in order to establish water quality based limits in the future, if necessary. Additionally, as part of the Water Quality Study, Massport is required to perform real-time monitoring of the outfalls, during a deicing episode, with expected contamination of deicers (Outfall 001, 002, 003, and 006) for parameters including temperature, DO, and conductivity, to be representative of a storm event discharge from each outfall. After completion of the Water Quality Study, the SWPPP for deicing shall be re-evaluated to determine if supplemental BMPs are necessary in order to protect the water quality of the receiving waters.

Finally, in consideration of comments received from the public, the final permit contains additional requirements for public notification. The final permit will require Massport to make the results of its monitoring available on its web site and provide a copy of each report (including all environmental reports) to the Boston Public Health Commission, City of Boston Environment Department, and the Winthrop Town Manager's office.

A separate individual NPDES permit and fact sheet for the Logan Airport Fire Training Facility can be accessed here:

If you have any questions please contact George Papadopoulos by phone at (617) 918-1579, or by email at papadopoulos.george@epa.gov.

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