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Industrial Stormwater

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.

UPDATE: Notice of a draft PAG-03 General Permit was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on August 20, 2022. Interested persons my submit comment(s) on DEP’s eComment through September 19, 2022.

The PAG-03 General Permit for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity was reissued on September 24, 2016 for a new 5-year term. DEP has administratively extended the PAG-03 General Permit and permittees that are operating under the PAG-03 General Permit may continue to operate until March 23, 2023. New coverage under the PAG-03 General Permit may not be authorized by the Department until the PAG-03 General Permit is renewed. Applicants requiring permit coverage should apply for an individual permit. New and renewal No Exposure Certification may still be issued to eligible applicants. DEP will notify existing permittees of substantial changes and requirements to maintain coverage when the PAG-03 when it is renewed; it is expected that this will include a requirement to submit a renewal Notice of Intent (NOI).

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.

DEP has developed a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to assist the regulated community in understanding industrial stormwater permits and No Exposure Certification.

For more information, contact the Bureau of Clean Water's Division of NPDES Permitting at or 717-787-5017.