An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities

Image of Remember to throw your gloves in the trash


Important News

  • EPA’s 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) expired on June 3, 2020, at 11:59PM and has been administratively continued. The 2015 MSGP remains in force and effect for discharges that were covered prior to permit expiration.
    • For more information for existing and new facilities/operators, click the "EPA's 2015 MSGP" tab above.
       
  • EPA issued a No Action Assurance for new facilities that commence discharging stormwater on or after June 4, 2020.
  • The comment period for the 2020 reissuance of the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) closed on June 1, 2020. EPA will consider all submitted comments during the finalization of the new MSGP.
    • For details, click the "Proposed 2020 MSGP" tab above.
       
  • National Academies of Sciences (NAS) Study of MSGP Issues Exit
    As part of the Settlement Agreement between EPA, environmental petitioners, and intervenors on the challenge to EPA’s 2015 MSGP, EPA has provided financing for a study on potential permit improvements to be conducted by NAS. NAS has posted an announcement on its website of the study and has solicited comments and any relevant information from the public. 
     
  • EPA has improved the security of the NPDES e-Reporting Tool (NeT) to ensure organizations only have access to their permit forms and information. NeT users will now "own" or have access to specific NPDES IDs to prepare or submit: Changes to NOIs, Notices of Terminations (NOTs), or Annual Reports associated with that NPDES ID. 

Industrial Overview

Material handling and storage, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and other activities at industrial facilities are often exposed to the weather. Runoff from rainfall or snowmelt that comes in contact with these activities can pick up pollutants, and transport them directly to a nearby river, lake, or coastal water or indirectly via a storm sewer and degrade water quality.

Federal regulations at 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(i)-(xi) require stormwater discharges associated with specific categories of industrial activity to be covered under NPDES permits (unless otherwise excluded). One of the categories—construction sites that disturb five acres or more—is generally permitted separately because of the significant differences between those activities and the others. The 11 categories of regulated industrial activities are:

  • Category One (i): Facilities subject to federal stormwater effluent discharge standards at 40 CFR Parts 405-471
  • Category Two (ii): Heavy manufacturing (e.g., paper mills, chemical plants, petroleum refineries, steel mills and foundries)
  • Category Three (iii): Coal and mineral mining and oil and gas exploration and processing
  • Category Four (iv): Hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities
  • Category Five (v): Landfills, land application sites, and open dumps with industrial wastes
  • Category Six (vi): Metal scrapyards, salvage yards, automobile junkyards, and battery reclaimers
  • Category Seven (vii): Steam electric power generating plants
  • Category Eight (viii): Transportation facilities that have vehicle maintenance, equipment cleaning, or airport deicing operations
  • Category Nine (ix): Treatment works treating domestic sewage with a design flow of 1 million gallons a day or more
  • Category Ten (x): Construction sites that disturb 5 acres or more (permitted separately)

Category Eleven (xi): Light manufacturing (e.g., food processing, printing and publishing, electronic and other electrical equipment manufacturing, public warehousing and storage)

EPA has authorized many states to administer the NPDES stormwater permitting program. Most industrial facilities will need to obtain NPDES permit coverage through their state. EPA remains the permitting authority in a few states, most territories, and most Indian country. For industrial facilities located in those areas, permit coverage is available under EPA’s 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP).

Top of Page

Proposed 2020 MSGP

EPA is seeking public comment on a proposed 2020 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges from industrial activity. This proposed permit would replace the 2015 MSGP upon finalization. This proposed permit would cover stormwater discharges from industrial facilities in areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. Per a 2016 settlement agreement, EPA considered recommendations outlined in a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s National Research Council (NRC) study.Exit 

EPA will take comments on the proposal during a 90-day comment period, which ends on June 1, 2020.

The permit, fact sheet, and other associated documents can be found in the links below and on the docket. Comments must be submitted on www.regulations.gov for docket ID # EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0372.


On this page:

Informational Webcasts

EPA hosted two informational webcast to give an overview of the proposed changes to the permit on March 10 and April 9, 2020. Both webcasts had similar content and are posted below.

  • View the recording of the first webcast held on March 10, 2020, below:


Summary of Proposed Changes in Permit

Key proposed changes in the permit include:

  1. Streamlining the permit
    EPA proposes to streamline and simplify language throughout the permit to present the requirements in a generally more clear and readable manner.
  2. Eligibility for stormwater discharges to a federal CERCLA site
    The 2015 MSGP requires facilities in EPA Region 10 that discharge stormwater to certain CERCLA or Superfund sites to notify the EPA Regional Office in advance and requires EPA Regional Office to determine whether the facility is eligible for permit coverage. In the proposed 2020 MSGP, EPA requests comment on whether this current eligibility criterion should be applied in all EPA Regions for facilities that discharge to Federal CERCLA sites that may be of concern for recontamination from stormwater discharges. See Part 1.1.7 in the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 1.
  3. Eligibility related to application of coal-tar sealcoat
    EPA proposes that operators, who will use coal-tar sealcoat to initially seal or to re-seal their paved surfaces where industrial activities are located and thereby discharge polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in stormwater, would be eligible for coverage under the 2020 MSGP only if they eliminate such discharge(s). Alternatively, operators who wish to pave their surfaces where industrial activities are located with coal-tar sealcoat may apply for an individual permit. See Part 1.1.8 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 2.
  4. Discharge authorization related to enforcement action
    EPA proposes to establish a discharge authorization waiting period of 60 calendar days after NOI submission for any operators whose discharges were not previously covered under the 2015 MSGP and who have a pending stormwater-related enforcement action by EPA, a state, or a citizen (to include both NOVs by EPA or a state and notices of intent to bring a citizen suit). See Part 1.3.3, Table 1-2 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 4.
  5. Public sign of permit coverage
    EPA proposes that the 2020 MSGP include a requirement that MSGP operators must post a sign of permit coverage at a safe, publicly accessible location in close proximity to the facility. See Part 1.3.6 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 6.
  6. Consideration of major storm control measure enhancements
    EPA proposes that operators would be required to consider implementing enhanced measures for facilities located in areas that could be impacted by stormwater discharges from major storm events that cause extreme flooding conditions. See Part 2.1.1.8 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 8.
  7. Universal benchmark monitoring for all sectors
    EPA proposes to require all facilities to conduct benchmark monitoring for three indicator parameters of pH, Total Suspended Solids, and Chemical Oxygen Demand, called universal benchmark monitoring. See Part 4.2.1 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and requests for comment 10 and 13.
  8. Impaired waters monitoring
    Under the 2015 MSGP, operators discharging to impaired waters must monitor once per year for pollutants for which the waterbody is impaired and can discontinue monitoring if these pollutants are not detected or not expected in the discharge. EPA proposes to require operators discharging to impaired waters to monitor only for those pollutants that are both causing impairments and associated with the industrial activity and/or benchmarks. The proposal specifies that, if the monitored pollutant is not detected in the discharge for three consecutive years, or it is detected but the operator has determined that its presence is caused solely by natural background sources, operators may discontinue monitoring for that pollutant. See Part 4.2.4.1 of the proposed permit and fact sheet.
  9. Updating benchmark values
    EPA proposes to modify and/or requests comment on benchmark thresholds for selenium, arsenic, cadmium, magnesium, iron, and copper based on the latest toxicity information. See Parts 4.2.1 and 8 of the proposed fact sheet and fact sheet, and requests for comment 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19.
  10. Sectors with new benchmarks
    The 2015 MSGP does not require sector-specific benchmark monitoring for Sector I (Oil and Gas Extraction), Sector P (Land Transportation and Warehousing), or Sector R (Ship and Boat Building and Repair Yards). Based on the NRC study recommendation which identified potential sources of stormwater pollution from these sectors, EPA proposes to add benchmark monitoring requirements for these three sectors. See Part 8 of the proposed permit, Parts 4.2.1.1 and 8 of the proposed fact sheet, and request for comment 12.
  11. Additional implementation measures
    EPA proposes revisions to the 2015 MSGP’s provisions regarding benchmark monitoring exceedances. EPA proposes new tiered Additional Implementation Measures (AIM), that are triggered by benchmark monitoring exceedances. Operators would be required to respond to different AIM levels with increasingly robust control measures depending on the nature and magnitude of the benchmark threshold exceedance. See Part 5.2 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and requests for comment 21, 22, 23, and 26.
  12. Revisions to sector-specific fact sheets
    EPA proposes updates to the existing sector-specific fact sheets that include information about control measures and stormwater pollution prevention for each sector to incorporate emerging stormwater control measures. See Part 5.2.2.2 and Appendix Q of the proposed permit and fact sheet.

Top of Page


Additional Requests for Public Comments

In addition to the specific proposed changes discussed above on which EPA seeks comment, the Agency also requests comment on the following specific issues:

  1. Eligibility related to use of cationic chemicals
    EPA requests comment on adding an eligibility requirement to the MSGP for operators who may elect to use cationic treatment chemicals to comply with the MSGP, similar to that eligibility requirement in EPA’s Construction General Permit (CGP). See Part 1 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 3.
  2. Change NOI form
    EPA requests comment on whether a separate paper Change NOI form would be useful for facilities for submitting modifications to a paper NOI form. See Part 1.3.4 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 5.
  3. New acronym for the No Exposure Certification (NOE)
    EPA requests comment on changing the acronym for the No Exposure Certification from “NOE” to “NEC” to more accurately represent what the acronym stands for. See Part 1.5 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 7.
  4. Alternative approaches to benchmark monitoring
    EPA requests comment on viable alternative approaches to benchmark monitoring for characterizing industrial sites’ stormwater discharges, quantifying pollutant concentrations, and assessing stormwater control measure effectiveness. See Part 4.2.1 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 9.
  5. Inspection-only option in lieu of benchmark monitoring
    EPA requests comment on whether the permit should include an inspection-only option for “low-risk” facilities in lieu of conducting benchmark monitoring. See Part 4.2.1.1 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 11.
  6. Information about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    EPA requests comment on information and data related to pollutant sources under all industrial sectors with petroleum hydrocarbon exposure that can release polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) via stormwater discharges, any concentrations of individual PAHs and/or total PAHs at industrial sites, the correlation of PAHs and COD, and appropriate pollution prevention/source control methods and stormwater control measures that could be used to address PAHs. See Part 4.2.1.2 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 20.
  7. Modifying the method for determining natural background pollutant contributions
    EPA requests comment on changing the threshold for the natural background exception throughout the permit from the 2015 MSGP, which required no net facility contributions, to the proposed 2020 MSGP method of subtracting natural background concentrations from the total benchmark exceedance to determine if natural background levels are solely responsible for the exceedance. EPA requests comment on implications of this change and other factors the Agency should consider in proposing this change to the exception. EPA also requests comment on other appropriate methods to characterize natural background pollutant concentrations. See Part 5.2.4 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and requests for comment 24 and 25.
  8. Clarifications to Sector G monitoring requirements
    EPA requests comment on whether the newly proposed language in Part 8.G.8.3 clarifies the monitoring requirements for that part and if the proposed monitoring frequency is appropriate. EPA also requests comment on suspending the analytical monitoring currently required for radium and uranium in Part 8.G.8.3 until a relevant water quality criterion and possible benchmark value can be developed. EPA requests comment on any alternative or additional clarifications to the monitoring frequencies the Agency should consider for this Part. See Part 8.G.8.3 of the proposed permit and fact sheet, and request for comment 27.

Top of Page

EPA's 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP)

On this page:

Overview

EPA’s 1990 stormwater regulations established NPDES permit requirements for industrial stormwater discharges, and the Agency issued the first Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for those facilities in 1995. The current MSGP went into effect on June 4, 2015.

The EPA’s 2015 MSGP applies in areas of the country where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority and has made the permit available for coverage. These areas include:

  • Four states: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico,
  • The District of Columbia,
  • All U.S. territories except for the Virgin Islands,
  • Federally operated facilities in Colorado, Delaware, Vermont, and Washington,
  • Most Indian country lands, and
  • Other designated activities in specific states (e.g., oil and gas activities in Texas and Oklahoma).

Top of Page


Administrative Continuance of the 2015 MSGP and No Action Assurance for New Facilities

On June 3, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., the 2015 MSGP expired and EPA did not reissue a new permit prior to its expiration. Therefore, the 2015 MSGP has been administratively continued in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and 40 CFR 122.6 and remains in force and effect for discharges that were covered prior to the 2015 MSGP’s expiration.

Existing Facilities with active MSGP coverage:

  • My facility had active coverage under the 2015 MSGP. Do I need to resubmit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to be covered by the administratively continued permit?
    No. Existing operators do not need to amend their current NOI and do not need re-submit an NOI to be covered by the administratively continued permit. If you obtained authorization to discharge under the 2015 MSGP prior to June 4, 2020, your facility will automatically remain covered after June 4, 2020, until EPA issues a new MSGP and the facility becomes authorized under the new MSGP. Operators with coverage for their facility under the administratively continued 2015 MSGP are required to continue complying with the permit, including fulfilling monitoring and reporting requirements. The facility’s coverage status in the NPDES eReporting Tool (NeT-MSGP) has automatically changed to “Admin. Continued.” Once EPA issues the new MSGP, existing operators will have 90 days from the effective date of the new MSGP to submit a new NOI using NeT-MSGP in order to obtain coverage under the new MSGP. EPA will notify operators when the Agency issues the new MSGP and provide support and resources to understand any new requirements in the permit.
  • How can I make updates to my NOI?
    At this time, the “Change NOI” function in NeT-MSGP is disabled. Operators should keep a record of NOI changes on site. EPA will notify operators via email if the “Change NOI” function is re-enabled during administrative continuance of the permit.

New facilities/operators that submitted an NOI prior to June 4, 2020, but may not yet have coverage under the 2015 MSGP:

  • I submitted an NOI prior to the 2015 MSGP expiration date of June 3, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., but I don’t have discharge authorization yet. Could my facility be covered under the administratively continued 2015 MSGP?
    Yes. EPA will continue to process all NOIs submitted prior to June 3, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Unless EPA notifies you that your authorization has been denied or delayed, you will obtain discharge authorization 30 days after submission of a complete and accurate NOI to EPA. Your authorization date will appear as June 3, 2020. Facilities with coverage under the administratively continued 2015 MSGP are required to continue complying with the permit, including fulfilling monitoring and reporting requirements. The facility’s coverage status in the NPDES eReporting Tool (NeT-MSGP) will show as “Admin. Continued.” Once the new MSGP is issued, existing operators will have 90 days from the effective date of the new MSGP to submit a new NOI using NeT-MSGP in order to obtain coverage under the new permit.

New or existing facilities/operators without MSGP coverage:

  • I am a new or existing facility/operator in an area where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority and did not submit an NOI for 2015 MSGP coverage prior to the expiration date of June 3, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Can my facility be covered under the administratively continued 2015 MSGP?
    No. New facilities, existing facilities that have never obtained 2015 MSGP coverage, and new operators of existing facilities will not be able to submit an NOI to obtain general permit coverage until EPA issues a new permit. Such facilities may follow conditions outlined in EPA’s No Action Assurance (NAA) memorandum for new facilities that commence discharging stormwater on or after June 4, 2020. See FAQs below.
  • What is the No Action Assurance (NAA) for new facilities that commence discharging stormwater on or after June 4, 2020?
    The No Action Assurance memorandum establishes conditions that operators must satisfy, including complying with the requirements of the 2015 MSGP, such that EPA will exercise its enforcement discretion to not pursue a civil or administrative enforcement action against new operators for violations of the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) prohibition against the discharge of pollutants except in conformance with an NPDES permit, 33 U.S.C. § 1311. The NAA does not cover new facilities who intend to commence discharging stormwater after a new MSGP has been issued by EPA and is in effect; those facilities will need to submit an NOI under the new permit.
  • What are the conditions of the NAA that eligible facilities/operators must meet?
    Eligible facilities must:
    • Meet the 2015 MSGP eligibility criteria;
    • Prior to the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activity, provide EPA 30-days advance notice of their operator status and their intention to operate in accordance with the 2015 MSGP by submitting an "Intent to Operate” (ITO) form through the NPDES eReporting Tool (NeT) for MSGP, to allow EPA time to review the notice;
    • Satisfy all requirements of the 2015 MSGP (except those pertaining to submission of an NOI); and,
    • If the facility intends to continue discharging after the effective date of the new MSGP, submit an NOI for coverage under the new MSGP within 90 days of its effective date.
  • By submitting an ITO form to EPA, does my facility have NPDES permit coverage for industrial stormwater discharges?
    No. An ITO is not the same as an NOI and does not confer any NPDES coverage. Submission of an ITO to EPA is a condition of the NAA but does not grant the facility/operator permit coverage under the expired/administratively continued 2015 MSGP and the facility/operator will not have active NPDES permit coverage for industrial stormwater discharges.
  • When will my facility be able to get NPDES MSGP coverage?
    Once EPA issues a new MSGP (expected late Fall 2020), facilities/operators that submitted an ITO and are operating in accordance with the conditions set forth in the NAA should submit an NOI as soon possible but no later than 90 days after the permit effective date.

Facilities/operators with or seeking a “No Exposure” exclusion:

  • Will No Exposure Certifications (NOE) be affected by the expiring/administratively continued 2015 MSGP?
    No. A no exposure certification (NOE) is submitted to obtain an exclusion from permitting under 40 CFR 122.26(g), therefore eligible facilities will not be affected by the expiring/administratively continued 2015 MSGP, meaning:
    • Facilities with an active NOE can change/update information on the NOE;
    • Facilities with an expiring NOE can recertify with a new NOE;
    • New facilities can submit an NOE; and,
    • Facilities with MSGP coverage who now wish to seek an exclusion from permitting due to no exposure conditions can submit an NOE.
  • All NOEs should be submitted via NeT-MSGP.

Top of Page


Final 2015 MSGP, Previous MSGP Versions, and Related Documents

Top of Page


Summary of 2015 MSGP Reporting Requirements and Deadlines

Report Frequency Deadline How to Submit
Endangered and Threatened Species Appendix E Criterion C Eligibility Form

Applies only if you are seeking coverage under Part 1.1.4.5 eligibility Criterion C (i.e., your facility has threatened or endangered species or critical habitat in its “action area”). See MSGP Appendix E and Threatened and Endangered Species Eligibility Procedures  Web page for information.
Once. At least 30 days prior to submitting the NOI for permit coverage. E-mail to msgpesa@epa.gov.
Benchmark Monitoring Report

See Part 8 of the MSGP for sector-specific requirements.
Benchmark monitoring requirements commence in the first full quarter following either September 2, 2015, or your date of discharge authorization, whichever is later. Continue benchmark monitoring quarterly until you either qualify for a monitoring reduction or fulfill the monitoring requirements specified in the permit. Within 30 days of receiving all laboratory results for sample(s) taken during the quarter. Electronically using NetDMR.
Impaired Waters Monitoring Report

Applies if your facility discharges to an impaired water body without a total maximum daily load (TMDL).

Note: If your facility discharges to a water body with a TMDL, the EPA regional office will inform you of any applicable monitoring requirements.
A minimum of once per year. Within 30 days of receiving laboratory results. Electronically using NetDMR.
Numeric Effluent Limitations Monitoring Report

Applies only to some facilities in sectors A, C, D, E, J, K, L, O and S. See Table 1-1 of the MSGP and Part 8.
If no exceedance: A minimum of once per year.

If in exceedance:
  • Conduct monitoring within 30 days of implementing corrective action.
  • If follow-up monitoring indicates an exceedance, continue monitoring at least quarterly until either discharge is in compliance with the effluent limit or EPA waives the requirement for additional monitoring. 
Within 30 days of receiving laboratory results. Electronically using NetDMR.
Numeric Effluent Limitations Exceedance Report If 30-day follow-up monitoring exceeds an applicable effluent limit. See Part 6.2.2.3 and Part 7.6 of the permit. Within 30 days of receiving laboratory results. Directly to the EPA regional office listed in Part 7.9.1 of the permit.
Annual Report Once per year for each year of permit coverage. No later than January 30. Electronically using NeT-MSGP. How to complete the annual report Exit
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Update At least once per year. No later than 45 days after conducting the final routine inspection for the year. The MSGP requires the SWPPP to be publicly available.

Either you can post the SWPPP to the Web, or include the specified SWPPP information on your NOI form.
  • If you post the SWPPP to the Web, update SWPPP information posted at this Web address.
  • If you include the specified SWPPP information on your NOI form, update it by submitting a Change NOI form electronically using NeT-MSGP
NOI Updates As information changes. As soon as information changes. Electronically using NeT-MSGP.
Noncompliance that could endanger health or the environment Verbally within 24 hours from the time you became aware of the circumstances, with a written submission within 5 days from the time you became aware of the circumstances. As necessary. Directly to the EPA Regional Office listed in Part 7.9.1) of the permit.

Top of Page

Discharge Authorization under EPA's 2015 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP)

On this page:

Who Needs Coverage

In general, you need MSGP coverage if you are an operator of a regulated industrial activity that discharges stormwater to waters of the U.S. in an area where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority and has made the permit available for coverage.


How to Obtain 2015 MSGP Coverage

Step 1.

Read:

Step 2.

Determine whether you are eligible for coverage under this permit. Before submitting your Notice of Intent (NOI), the form you file to obtain coverage under the MSGP, you must:

  1. Follow all required procedures for determining your eligibility.
    • All dischargers must:
    • New dischargers and new sources must:
      • If you discharge to an impaired waterbody, meet the requirements of MSGP Part 1.1.4.8.
        Note: Some dischargers will be required to provide information to the EPA Regional Office documenting that pollutants for which the water body is impaired are not present at the site or that discharges will not cause or contribute to an exceedance of a water quality standard.
      • Determine whether you discharge to a Tier 3 waterbody (i.e., an outstanding national resource water). If you do, you must obtain coverage under an individual permit.
  2. Develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP), or update your existing SWPPP consistent with the requirements in Part 5 of the MSGP.

Step 3.

Submit an NOI to EPA using the NPDES eReporting Tool (NeT) for the MSGP.

You are authorized to discharge 30 days after submitting your complete NOI unless EPA notifies you that your authorization has been denied or delayed.

Top of Page


2015 MSGP NOI Submittal Deadlines

To be covered under the 2015 MSGP, you must submit your NOI by the deadline specified in the table. The NOI certifies to EPA that you are eligible for coverage and provides information on your facility’s industrial activities and discharges.

Deadlines for Submitting NOIs

Operator Category

Deadline

Operator of industrial activities authorized for coverage under the 2008 MSGP.

No later than September 2, 2015, unless EPA notifies you that your deadline is extended.

Exceptions:
For federal operators of industrial activities located in the State of Washington, no later than October 19, 2015, unless EPA notifies you that your deadline is extended.

For operators of industrial activities located in the State of Idaho (except Indian country) or on Spokane Tribe of Indians lands, no later than November 10, 2015, unless EPA notifies you that your deadline is extended

Operator of industrial activities that:

  • Are located in areas where the MSGP was issued on June 4, 2015;
  • Commenced discharging between September 30, 2013, and September 2, 2015; and
  • Has been operating consistent with EPA’s no action assurance for the MSGP.

As soon as possible, but no later than September 2, 2015, unless EPA notifies you that your deadline is extended.

Federal operator of industrial activities that:

  • Are located in the State of Washington (except Indian country);
  • Commenced discharging between September 30, 2013 and October 9, 2015; and
  • Has been operating consistent with EPA’s no action assurance for the MSGP.

As soon as possible, but no later than Oct. 19, 2015, unless EPA notifies you that your deadline is extended.

Operator of industrial activities that:

  • Are located in the State of Idaho (except Indian country) or on Spokane Tribe of Indians lands where the MSGP was issued on August 12, 2015;
  • Commenced discharging between September 30, 2013 and November 10, 2015; and
  • Has been operating consistent with EPA’s no action assurance for the MSGP.

As soon as possible, but no later than Nov. 10, 2015, unless EPA notifies you that your deadline is extended

  • Operator of industrial activities in areas where the MSGP was issued on June 4, 2015 that commenced discharging after September 2, 2015;
  • Federal operator of industrial activities in the State of Washington (except Indian country) that commenced discharging after October 19, 2015;
  • Operator of industrial activities located in the State of Idaho (except Indian country) or on Spokane Tribe of Indians lands that commenced discharging after November 10, 2015; and
  • Operator seeking coverage for discharges previously covered under an individual permit or an alternative general permit.

A minimum of 30 days before commencing discharge in accordance with the terms of the 2015 MSGP.

New operator of existing industrial activities with discharges previously authorized under the 2015 MSGP.

A minimum of 30 days before the date of transfer of control to the new operator.

Operator of industrial activities that:

  • Began discharging before September 2, 2015, but is not covered under the 2008 MSGP or another NPDES permit; and
  • Is not operating consistent with EPA’s no action assurance for the MSGP.

Immediately, to minimize the amount of time discharges from the facility continue unauthorized.

MSGP coverage begins 30 days after EPA notifies you that it has received your complete NOI, unless the Agency notifies you that your authorization has been denied or delayed.

Top of Page

Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) Threatened and Endangered Species Eligibility

Part 1.1.4.5 of the 2015 MSGP requires you to determine your eligibility with regard to protection of threatened and endangered species and critical habitat. You must make the determination before you submit a notice of intent (NOI) for permit coverage.

Determining your Endangered Species Act (ESA) eligibility

Appendix E - Procedures Relating to Endangered Species Protection - follow these procedures to assess the effects of your discharges and discharge-related activities on threatened and endangered species and critical habitat. Include all documentation supporting your eligibility in your stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP).

Review this summary of the required steps in Appendix E:

Step 1. Determine if you can meet the eligibility requirements of criterion B, D, or E.

  • Criterion B: Your industrial discharges and discharge-related activities were already addressed in another operator’s valid certification of eligibility for your action area under the 2015 MSGP, and there is no reason to believe that federally listed species or designated critical habitat not considered in the prior certification may be present in your “action area” (e.g., due to a new threatened or endangered species listing or critical habitat designation).

    “Action area” is defined as “all areas to be affected directly or indirectly by the federal action and not merely the immediate area involved in the action.”

Note: You cannot select this eligibility criterion based upon a determination under an earlier version of the MSGP because revisions have been made to the eligibility requirements.

  • Criterion D: A separate Endangered Species Act (ESA) section seven consultation was completed that addresses the effects of your facility’s discharges and discharge-related activities.
  • Criterion E: Your facility’s activities are the subject of a permit under section 10 of the ESA that addresses the effects of your facility’s discharges and discharge-related activities.

If you meet criteria B, D, or E, skip to document eligibility on NOI and SWPPP.

If you do not meet criteria B, D, or E, continue to step 2.

Top of Page


Step 2. Determine the extent of your facility’s action area. Consider the following in determining the action area:

  • Include all receiving waterbodies that could receive pollutants from your facility. Discharges of pollutants into downstream areas can expand the action area well beyond the footprint of your facility and the discharge point(s). Account for controls you will implement to minimize pollutants and characteristics of the receiving waterbody (e.g., perennial, intermittent, ephemeral) in determining the extent of physical, chemical and biotic effects of the discharges.
  • Account for discharge-related activities, which include the siting, construction and operation of stormwater controls to control, reduce or prevent pollutants from being discharged. For example, any new or modified stormwater controls that will create noise—and any disturbances associated with construction of controls—are part of your action area.

Step 3. Determine if threatened species, endangered species, or critical habitat are present in your facility’s action area.

You must refer to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed species information:

  1. Refer to the following maps to determine if NMFS-listed species are potentially present:
  2. IPaC, Information for Planning and Conservation - access the FWS’s online mapping tool and follow these steps to determine if FWS-listed species are potentially present:
    1. Select get started.
    2. Select enter project location.
    3. Use an address, city name or other location to zoom into your action area.
    4. Use the zoom feature to see the entire extent of your action area on the screen.
    5. Use one of the mapping features (e.g., polygon or line feature) to draw your action area.
      • For the aquatic portion of your action area, trace the waterbody(ies) with the tool to characterize your action area.
      • If there will be any discharge-related activities associated with your 2015 MSGP coverage, or if there is some aspect of your discharge that would potentially result in effects to terrestrial species, include the corresponding upland areas within your action area.
      • When you are finished, press continue.
    6. Select request an official species list.
    7. Complete the fields on the official species list request page, and include “(MSGP)” at the end of the project description.
      1. For classification, select “water quality modification”.
      2. Select the appropriate requesting agency/organization type. (For most operators, this should be “other”.)
    8. Submit the request to acquire an official species list, which should show listed species as well as any designated critical habitat that are present in your action area. If a link to an official species list is not available on the page:
      • follow the Web link of the office(s) indicated; or
      • contact the office directly if a Web link is not shown.

FWS New England Field Office’s guidance - facilities located in EPA region 1 may alternatively follow this guidance for determining the presence of FWS species in your action area.

Note: If, after following NMFS and FWS guidance, the only listed species potentially present is the northern long-eared bat, and your facility will not be conducting discharge-related activities under your 2015 MSGP coverage, you are eligible for MSGP coverage under Criterion A and a Criterion C Eligibility Form is not required.

  • If you determine that no threatened or endangered species and no critical habitat are present in your facility’s action area, you are eligible for MSGP coverage under criterion A. Skip to Document eligibility on NOI and SWPPP.
  • If you determine that threatened or endangered species and no critical habitat are present in your facility’s action area, continue to completing the criterion C eligibility form.

Top of Page


Completing the Criterion C Eligibility Form

If you determined that threatened or endangered species or critical habitat are present in your facility’s action area, you must submit a Criterion C eligibility form from MSGP Appendix E to EPA to msgpesa@epa.gov. You must submit the form at least 30 days before submitting your NOI for permit coverage. The form must document:

  • threatened and endangered species in the action area,
  • potential stressors to species from pollutants in stormwater discharges, and
  • controls that will be implemented to avoid adverse effects.

After you submit this form, EPA may contact you with additional measures necessary to ensure your discharges and discharge-related activities are unlikely to cause adverse effects on threatened or endangered species or critical habitat. If you do not hear anything from EPA, you are eligible to submit your NOI under Criterion C 30 days after submitting your completed form.

Top of Page


Document Eligibility on NOI and SWPPP

For all eligibility criteria (criteria A, B, C, D, and E):

  • identify the eligibility criterion you selected on your NOI for permit coverage and
  • include documentation supporting your eligibility determination in your SWPPP.

Go to NetMSGP to complete your NOI for permit coverage.


Contact Information

For questions about meeting the MSGP requirements in part 1.1.4.5 and Appendix E, contact msgpesa@epa.gov or your EPA regional permitting authority.

Legal Background

EPA revised the requirements for threatened and endangered species and critical habitat protection eligibility under the 2015 MSGP as a result of its consultation with FWS and NMFS under section 7 of the ESA.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

FWS Regional Contact List

National Marine Fisheries Service

NMFS Alaska Region Contacts
NMFS Northwest Region Contacts
NMFS Pacific Islands Region Contacts
NMFS Southwest Region Contacts
NMFS Southeast and Caribbean Region Contacts
NMFS Northeast Region Contacts

Notice:

Under section 9 (a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act, with respect to any endangered species of fish or wildlife listed pursuant to section 4 of this Act, it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take any such species within the United States or the territorial sea of the United States. To ensure consistency with the conditional take exemption associated with the MSGP, MSGP-authorized dischargers shall notify the nearest National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Regional Office within three days upon finding any dead, injured, or sick, specimen, nest, and/or egg(s) of endangered or threatened species under NMFS jurisdiction that appears to have been harmed by MSGP-authorized discharges into Waters of the United States. In addition, notify the National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources at (301) 427-8400 and EPA at msgpesa@epa.gov. Include the date, time, and precise location of the injured animal, carcass, nest, and/or egg and any other pertinent information in your notification. Leave the plant or animal alone, make note of any circumstances likely causing the death or injury, note the location and number of individuals involved and, if possible, take photographs. The finder may be asked to carry out instructions provided by NMFS to collect specimens or take other measures to ensure that evidence intrinsic to the specimen is preserved. Care should be taken in handling sick or injured specimens to preserve biological materials in the best possible state for later analysis of cause of death, if that occurs.

Top of Page

Electronic Reporting Under the 2015 EPA Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP)

On this page:

Overview

EPA requires the following 2015 MSGP forms be submitted electronically unless granted a waiver from the EPA Regional Office:

  • Notice of Intent (NOI)
  • Change NOI
  • Annual Report
  • Notice of Termination (NOT)
  • Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) and
  • Conditional No Exposure Certification (NOE)

Top of Page


New NOIs, Change NOIs, Annual Reports, NOTs, and NOEs

NeT-MSGP is accessed through EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX).

Top of Page


Accessing NetDMR

EPA requires operators to use NetDMR to electronically prepare and submit all DMRs under the 2015 MSGP.

NetDMR is separate from NeT-MSGP and requires separate registration.

Register for NetDMR

  1. Access the NetDMR homepage.
  2. Select your EPA regional regulatory authority, and click on the link to register for a new account.

    Note: If you are registering for a Signatory role—so you can electronically sign and submit DMRs—you must mail a signed subscriber agreement to your NetDMR EPA regional regulatory authority before you access the system.

Reporting Changes in Monitoring Requirements

NetDMR automatically populates your electronic DMR form with monitoring parameters and frequency from information submitted on your NOI form (i.e., industrial sector(s), discharges to impaired waters, applicable numeric effluent limits). It also will update your form as you report changes to your monitoring requirements.

EPA requires you to report the following changes to your monitoring schedule by submitting a Change NOI form in NeT-MSGP:

  • For all parameters, when benchmark monitoring is no longer required.
  • For all parameters, when monitoring of impaired waters is no longer required.
  • When 30-day follow-up monitoring is required because of a numeric effluent limit exceedance.
  • For Sector G only, when discharges from waste rock and overburden piles have exceeded benchmark values.

You no longer are required to report monitoring results using NetDMR once you have fulfilled your monitoring requirements for the permit term.

You are required to continue reporting your results using NetDMR if you have only partially fulfilled your benchmark and/or impaired waters monitoring requirements; for example:

  • Your four-quarter average is below the benchmark for some but not all parameters, or
  • You detected some—but not all—impairment pollutants.

For any monitoring parameters you have fulfilled, you must report a “no discharge.” For other benchmark monitoring schedule changes, or if there are any errors with the parameters and monitoring frequency on your DMR form, contact NPDESeReporting@epa.gov or call 866-352-7755 between 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET to request changes to your DMR form.

Top of Page


Guidance and Training

Top of Page


NOI Search

  • For NOIs submitted under the 2008 MSGP and NOEs submitted before June 4, 2015, go to the 2008 MSGP search page.
  • For NOIs submitted under the 2015 MSGP and NOEs submitted on or after June 4, 2015, go to the ECHO search page.
  • For NOIs submitted under the 2015 MSGP and NOEs submitted on or after April 1, 2018, go to the e-Enterprise Portal.

Top of Page


Electronic Signature Agreement Mailing Address

For Regular U.S. Mail Delivery:
Stormwater Notice Processing Center
Mail Code 4203M
ATTN: 2015 MSGP Signature Agreement
U.S. EPA
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

For Overnight/Express U.S. Mail Delivery:
Stormwater Notice Processing Center
William Jefferson Clinton East Building - Room 7420
ATTN: 2015 MSGP Signature Agreement
U.S. EPA
1201 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Top of Page

Industrial Stormwater Fact Sheet Series and Guidance

On this page:

Industrial Stormwater Fact Sheet Series

EPA has developed a fact sheet for each of the 29 industrial sectors regulated by the MSGP. Each fact sheet describes the types of facilities included in the sector, typical pollutants associated with the sector, and types of stormwater control measures used to minimize the discharge of the pollutants.

Top of Page


Industrial Stormwater Guidance

  • Industrial SWPPP Guidance —Provides guidance on developing a SWPPP that meets MSGP requirements.
  • EPA Industrial SWPPP Template(29 pp, 152 K) (Word version) —Provides a template that industrial facilities can use to create their SWPPPs.
    Note: All facilities must have a SWPPP completed before submitting their NOI for coverage under the 2015 MSGP.
  • Additional MSGP Documentation Template(22 pp, 102 K) —Provides a form for keeping records on monitoring, inspection, maintenance, visual evaluation and corrective action activities.
  • Industrial Stormwater Monitoring and Sampling Guide —Explains how to conduct visual and analytical monitoring of stormwater discharges. Can be used by facilities required to comply with MSGP’s monitoring requirements as well as facilities subject to state-issued industrial stormwater permits.
  • EPA Region 10 Questions and Answers Regarding the MSGP —Provides answers to commonly asked questions in EPA Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington).
  • Approved or Established TMDLs -- Provides links to sources and program contacts related to approved or established TMDLs for waterbodies located in jurisdictions covered under the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP).
  • NPDES Compliance Monitoring Strategy - outlines inspection and compliance goals for the entire NPDES program, including stormwater. This new strategy, which takes effect in 2009, places increased emphasis on wet weather issues, particularly stormwater sources, and sets ambitious targets for audits and inspections of Phase I and II MS4s, construction sites, and industrial facilities.

Top of Page

Conditional “No Exposure” Exclusion

An industrial facility with its industrial materials and activities protected by a storm resistant shelter to prevent exposure to rain, snow, snowmelt, and/or runoff is eligible for an exemption from NPDES industrial stormwater permit requirements. Industrial materials and activities include:

  • material handling equipment and activities,
  • industrial machinery,
  • raw materials,
  • intermediate and final products,
  • by-products, and
  • waste products.

The conditional no exposure exclusion applies to 10 of the 11 categories of stormwater discharges from regulated industrial activities:

  • Category One: Facilities subject to federal stormwater effluent discharge standards in 40 CFR Parts 405-471
  • Category Two: Heavy manufacturing (e.g., paper mills, chemical plants, petroleum refineries, and steel mills and foundries)
  • Category Three: Coal and mineral mining, and oil and gas exploration and processing
  • Category Four: Hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities
  • Category Five: Landfills, land application sites, and open dumps with industrial wastes
  • Category Six: Metal scrapyards, salvage yards, automobile junkyards, and battery reclaimers
  • Category Seven: Steam electric power generating plants
  • Category Eight: Transportation facilities that have vehicle maintenance, equipment cleaning or airport deicing operations
  • Category Nine: Treatment works treating domestic sewage with a design flow of 1 million gallons or more a day
  • Category Eleven: Light manufacturing (e.g., food processing, printing and publishing, electronic and other electrical equipment manufacturing, and public warehousing and storage)

The exclusion does not apply to Category Ten, which is stormwater discharges from construction sites that disturb five or more acres. They are permitted separately under the NPDES stormwater program.

Top of Page


No Exposure Certification

A no exposure certification must be provided to the permitting authority for each facility qualifying for the permitting exclusion. In addition, the exclusion from NPDES permitting is available on a facility-wide basis only, not for individual outfalls. To retain the exclusion, you must recertify the condition with the permitting authority at least every five years. If you are in an area where EPA is the permitting authority, you can use the NPDES eReporting Tool for the MSGP (NeT-MSGP) to submit your no exposure certification.

If any industrial materials or activities are or will be exposed to precipitation, your facility is not eligible for the no exposure exclusion, and you must obtain NPDES stormwater permit coverage.


Additional Information

Top of Page