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NPDES Permits in New England

Worcester Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) (NPDES Permit Number MAS010002)

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Background

Worcester was issued NPDES Permit MAS010002 for discharging storm water from its municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) which became effective on October 30, 1998. The permit expired five years later on October 30, 2003; however, EPA administratively continued the permit as allowed by regulation. Proceeding to reissue this NPDES permit, EPA and MassDEP have now issued a draft permit and fact sheet (which provides EPA’s technical basis for establishing permit conditions).

Generally, the permit enhances the best management practices (BMPs) required to reduce stormwater pollutant loadings from Worcester’s MS4 system. As required by regulation, these BMPs are based on measures to reduce pollution to the maximum extent practicable and to attain state water quality standards. Examples of enhanced BMPs include more specific requirements for the identification of illicit connections that convey sewage or other waste water to the storm water system and measures to increase the use of low impact development techniques to reduce pollution. The permit also requires wet-weather and dry-weather monitoring of the outfalls and receiving waters as well as updating the city’s Stormwater Management Program.

Original Public Comment Period:

On June 20, 2008, EPA and MassDEP released draft NPDES Permit MAS010002 for stormwater discharges from the City of Worcester’s MS4 to various streams, lakes and ponds in Worcester. EPA and MassDEP accepted public comment on this draft permit from June 26, 2008 to August 4, 2008. EPA and MassDEP also conducted a public hearing to accept oral and written comments on the draft permit on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at the Worcester Public Library (3 Salem Square, Worcester, Massachusetts). Oral and written comments received on the draft permit are available below.

First Targeted, Re-Opened Public Comment Period:

EPA re-opened the public comment period from September 29, 2008 to October 14, 2008 to receive comment on a limited set of provisions included in the draft permit. Comments considered by EPA and MassDEP were limited to only those related to provisions included in Part I.E.4. (Land Disturbance and Development) and Part I.F. (Monitoring and Analysis Program) of the draft permit. In addition, EPA and MassDEP held a facilitated stakeholder meeting on October 3, 2008 at the Worcester Public Library to consider these provisions. EPA and MassDEP invited stakeholders to a second stakeholder meeting at MassDEP's Worcester office on October 14, 2008 to further consider the select permit provisions. Copies of written comments received during the re-opened public comment period are available below. This action was in response to the interest shown by a significant number of stakeholders urging EPA and MassDEP to engage in constructive dialogue with the City of Worcester to improve specific permit requirements prior to final permit issuance. The meetings facilitated a dialogue amongst stakeholders to identify alternative approaches to specific permit requirements for consideration by EPA and MassDEP in issuing the final permit. Meeting dialogue and additional written comments to be considered by EPA and MassDEP will be limited to only those related to provisions included in Part I.E.4. (Land Disturbance and Development) and Part I.F. (Monitoring and Analysis Program) of the draft permit.

Second Targeted, Re-Opened Public Comment Period:

Based on continued significant stakeholder interest, EPA has re-opened the public comment period on this draft permit for the period of October 21, 2008 to November 19, 2008 to receive additional comment on the same limited set of provisions included in the draft permit. Again, comments accepted and considered by EPA and MassDEP will be limited to only those related to provisions included in Part I.E.4. (Land Disturbance and Development) and Part I.F. (Monitoring and Analysis Program) of the draft permit. Written comments on this draft permit must be submitted to David Gray, postmarked by midnight, November 19, 2008 (see contact information below). For those persons that provided comments during the initial or first re-opened public comment period, EPA and MassDEP recommend that only new comments or clarification of original comments on these provisions be submitted.

Final Permit Decision

Following the close of the comment period, the Regional Administrator will issue a final permit decision and forward a copy of the final decision to the applicant and each person who has submitted written comments or requested notice. In reaching a final decision on this draft permit the Regional Administrator will respond to all significant comments and make the responses available to the public.

Contact:
David J. Gray (gray.davidj@epa.gov), P.E.
Office of Ecosystem Protection
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1
5 Post Office Square, Ste. 100 (OEP06-1)
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Phone: 617-918-1577
Fax: 617-918-0577

Worcester Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) documents:

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