The federal regulations at 40 CFR 122.26 identify specific classes of industrial facilities that must apply for NPDES permit coverage. In addition, DEP may require any other facility not identified in the federal regulations to obtain a permit if DEP finds that the facility or activity is resulting in the discharge of pollutants to waters of the Commonwealth.
Facilities that are required to obtain NPDES permit coverage may, if eligible, apply for this coverage under DEP's NPDES General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activities (PAG-03) (3850-PM-BCW0083d). The PAG-03 General Permit was reissued on September 24, 2016 for a new 5-year term.
If a facility is not eligible for coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit, it may apply for an individual NPDES permit, using DEP's Individual NPDES Permit Application for Industrial Stormwater (3800-PM-BCW0403). A common reason that a facility may not be eligible for PAG-03 General Permit coverage is location in a High Quality or Exceptional Value watershed, according to designated uses under Chapter 93 or existing uses determined by DEP.
Individual permit coverage is generally for five years, with a requirement to submit a renewal application at least 180 days prior to the permit coverage expiration date if the discharge of pollutants will continue after the expiration date. Coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit does not expire; however, facilities with coverage must submit annual reports by May 1st each year to document activities in the previous calendar year and to indicate intent to continue operating under the PAG-03 General Permit.
For those facilities that qualify for PAG-03 General Permit coverage, an alternative to obtaining permit coverage is to request No Exposure Certification if the facility qualifies.
In general, all industrial materials and activities must be stored and conducted indoors or under roof for a facility to qualify for No Exposure Certification. The No Exposure Certification alternative is not available to facilities in High Quality or Exceptional Value watersheds, and must be renewed every five years.
For more information, contact the Bureau of Clean Water's Division of Planning and Permitting at 717-787-8184.