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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities-EPA's 2015 MSGP

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2015 MSGP 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 2015 MSGP went into effect on June 4, 2015, and expired June 3, 2020. MSGP was administratively continued for discharges that were covered prior to permit expiration. Beginning March 1, 2021, operators must submit a new Notice of Intent to obtain authorization to discharge in accordance with the deadlines set forth in Part 1.3.3. of the 2021 MSGP.

EPA’s 2015 MSGP applied 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).

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.

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Final 2015 MSGP, Previous MSGP Versions, and Related Documents

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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.

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