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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

Combined Sewer Overflows Public Notification Requirements for the Great Lakes

Final Rule: Public Notification for CSOs to the Great Lakes

On January 8, 2018, EPA published the final Public Notification Requirements for Combined Sewer Overflows to the Great Lakes. The rule implements Section 425 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which requires EPA to work with the Great Lakes States to establish public notification requirements for combined sewer discharges to the Great Lakes. The requirements address signage, initial notification of local public health departments and other potentially affected entities, initial notification of the public, annual notice provisions, and requires the development of a public notification plan.

This rule protects public health by ensuring timely notification to the public and to public health departments, public drinking water facilities and other potentially affected public entities, including Indian tribes. It provides additional specificity beyond existing public notification requirements to ensure timely and consistent communication to the public regarding CSO discharges to the Great Lakes Basin. Timely notice may allow the public and affected public entities to take steps to reduce the public’s potential exposure to pathogens associated with human sewage, which can cause a wide variety of health effects, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections.


Proposed Rule: Public Notification for CSOs to the Great Lakes

On January 13, 2017, EPA published a proposed rule requesting comments on Public Notification Requirements for Combined Sewer Overflows to the Great Lakes Basin. The proposed rule would implement Section 425 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which requires EPA to work with the Great Lakes states to establish public notification requirements for CSO discharges to the Great Lakes.

The comment period for the proposed rule closed March 14, 2017. The public submitted written comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0376, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov.


Section 425 of the 2016 Appropriations Act

Section 425 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 requires EPA to work with the Great Lakes states to establish public notice requirements for CSO discharges to the Great Lakes Basin. Section 425 is to be implemented by December 18, 2017. However, Section 425 provides that implementation deadlines may be extended for individual communities if the EPA Administrator determines the community needs additional time to comply in order to avoid undue economic hardship.


Pre-Proposal Input on "Public Notification Requirements for Combined Sewer Overflow Discharges to the Great Lakes"

Public Listening Session; Stakeholder Input on Public Notice for Combined Sewer Overflows in the Great Lakes [FRL-9950-07-OW] (PDF)(3 pp, 199 K, About PDF- On August 1, 2016, EPA requested public input to inform development of a proposed regulation establishing public notification requirements for CSO discharges in the Great Lakes. As part of this effort, EPA held a public "listening session" on September 14, 2016. The pre-proposal comment period closed on September 23, 2016. All comments are available for review on Public Docket EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0376 at https://www.regulations.gov.