NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS
- Program Requirement Revisions Related to the Public Water System Supervision Programs for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont EPA is giving notice that Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont are in the process of revising their respective approved Public Water System Supervision programs to meet the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA states that it intends to approve these revisions. EPA did not receive requests for a public hearing within the 30-day deadline. Thus, the three drinking water rules are now considered final.
- Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permits for Discharges From Potable Water Treatment Facilities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire: The Potable Water Treatment Facility General Permit EPA Region 1 is providing a notice of availability of the draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permits (GP) for discharges from potable water treatment facilities (PWTF) to certain waters in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. These GPs replace the previous PWTF GPs that expired on October 2, 2014. Comments were due September 9, 2016.
- Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permits for Remediation Activity Discharges in Massachusetts and New Hampshire: The Remediation General Permit EPA Region 1 is providing a notice of availability of draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for discharges from sites engaged in certain remediation activities to certain waters in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. These draft permits replace the Remediation General Permits that expired on September 9, 2015. Comments were due September 19, 2016.
- Air Plan Approval; New Hampshire; Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Minor Core Activities, 40 C.F.R. Part 52 EPA issued a direct final rule approving a State Implementation Plan revision submitted by New Hampshire on October 4, 2012. The revision clarifies Reasonably Available Control Technology requirements as they apply to minor core activities of volatile organic compound sources. The rule took effect October 14, 2016.
- Air Plan Approval; New Hampshire; Rules for Reducing Particulate Emissions, 40 C.F.R. Part 52 EPA is proposing to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by New Hampshire on March 31, 2011 and July 23, 2011. These SIP revisions establish particulate matter and visible emissions standards for the following sources: foundries, smelters, and investment casting operations; hot mix asphalt plants; and sand and gravel sources, non-metallic mineral processing plants, and cement and concrete sources. The rule took effect December 7, 2016.
- Air Plan Approval; New Hampshire; Approval of Single Source Orders, 40 C.F.R. Part 52 EPA issued a direct final rule approving State Implementation Plan revisions submitted by New Hampshire. The revisions consist primarily of single source orders that establish reasonably available control technology for three sources of volatile organic compounds. The rule took effect October 28, 2016.
- Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; Interstate Transport of Air Pollution, 40 C.F.R. Part 52 EPA is proposing to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The revisions address provisions of the Clean Air Act that require each state to submit a SIP to address emissions that may adversely affect another state’s air quality through interstate transport. As part of its proposed approval, EPA has concluded that all four states have adequate provisions to prohibit such activities from significantly contributing to, or interfering with the maintenance of, the 2008 National Ambient air Quality Standards in other states. The rule took effect November 14, 2016.
- NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule Implementation Guidance, 40 C.F.R. Part 127 EPA published guidance to assist the regulated community with EPA’s recently-promulgated NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule. This guidance includes an overview of the “initial recipient” term as well as the listing of the initial recipients by state, tribe, and territory and by NPDES data group and the due date for NPDES submissions.
- Federal Baseline Water Quality Standards for Indian Reservations, 40 C.F.R. Part 131 EPA is issuing notice that it is considering establishing federal baseline water quality standards (WQS) for certain Indian reservation waters to narrow what EPA believes to be a gap in coverage of Clean Water Act protections. EPA is seeking comment on whether to establish baseline WQS for Indian reservation waters that do not yet have WQS under the Clean Water Act and, if so, what those WQS should be and how they should be implemented. Comments were due December 28, 2016.
- Multi-Sector General Permit – Stormwater Discharge Associated with Industrial Activity DEP issued a final Multi-Sector General Permit – Stormwater Discharge Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP). The final MSGP was promulgated on December 7, 2016. Covered facilities must file a notice of intent under the new permit (and update their stormwater pollution prevention plans) by February 6, 2017.
- Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining, DEP Ch. 200 DEP is proposing to amend and replace its existing Chapter 200 Metallic Mineral Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Mining Rule. Under the new proposed rules, exploration activities that limit excavation to a maximum surface opening of 300 square feet will not require a permit, but instead will require submission of a work plan. Such activities will also need to meet a number of other performance standards. Advanced exploration activities will be placed into one of two categories: Tier One activities, which involve the excavation and removal of up to 2,000 tons of material, or Tier Two activities, which involve up to 10,000 tons of excavated material. Advanced exploration activities will be subject to more stringent standards and permitting requirements. Comments were due September 26, 2016. Comments on additional changes to Ch. 200 were due December 16, 2016.
- Changes to Required Road Setbacks and Accessory Structure Locations, LUPC Ch. 10 The Maine Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) is proposing to update its rules to alter certain setback requirements. These changes include (1) reducing the distance structures must be set back from the road to 30 feet in Residential Development and General Development subdistricts along with corresponding reductions in vegetative buffers; (2) reducing the road setback requirement for residential structures on State and Federal Routes from 75 feet to either 50 or 30 feet, depending on the subdistrict; (3) the allowance of flexible road setbacks of no less than 20 feet from interior roads for non-residential development on a case-by-case basis according to performance criteria; (4) permission, under certain conditions, for residential accessory structures to be placed on new or existing, nonconforming lots across the road from the residence; (5) edits to the accessory structure by standard use listing to clarify that accessory structures must be located in subdistricts which allow their associated principal use; and (6) changes to the subdistrict use listings which will clarify that accessory structures may be allowed in LUPC jurisdiction by permit or special exception. The rule took effect August 9, 2016.
- Petition for Removal of Carroll Plantation from the Expedited Permitting Area for Wind Energy Development, LUPC Ch. 10 The Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) has received a petition to remove Carroll Plantation from the expedited permitting area for wind energy development. LUPC is required by rule to grant the petition if it finds that the removal of Carroll Plantation both (1) will not have an unreasonable adverse effect on the State’s ability to meet the state goals for wind energy development in 35-A M.R.S. § 3404(2)(c), and (2) is consistent with the principal values and the goals in the comprehensive land use plan adopted by LUPC pursuant to 12 M.R.S. § 685-A(8-A). Comments were due October 10, 2016.
- Administrative Regulations for Hydropower Projects, LUPC Ch. 11 Revisions to the Land Use Planning Commission’s (LUPC) rules in Chapter 11 are being proposed in order to correct certain references and make other technical changes. In addition, the revisions will clarify the respective jurisdictions of DEP and LUPC. Comments were due September 30, 2016.
- Timely Action Schedule and Fee Provisions, 310 C.M.R. 4.00 MassDEP is proposing amendments to its rules for Timely Action Schedule and Fee Provisions under Chapter 21E. Among other things, the proposed amendments would align MassDEP’s surface water discharge permitting categories with federal NPDES permitting requirements, amend the applicability of groundwater annual compliance fee categories for discharges using a nutrient loading approach, and reinstate waste site clean-up permitting fee categories that were previously eliminated in error. Comments were due October 7, 2016.
- Nonattainment New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration Amendments, DES Env-A 618.01, 618.04, 619.03, 619.07, 621.04 DES is proposing to amend its Nonattainment New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration rules to obtain EPA approval of amendments to New Hampshire’s State Implementation Plan. These amendments include changes to Env-A 618, which will incorporate certain federal requirements and changes to ENV-A 619.03, which will make those rules consistent with federal requirements. The rules took effect October 22, 2016.
- VOC Recordkeeping for Surface Coating and Printing Operations; Emission Based Fee; DES Env-A 904.03, 904.04, 907.02(g) DES is proposing to amend its rules regarding VOC recordkeeping for Surface Coating and Printing Operations. These rules were amended effective July 18, 2015, but DES is proposing further amendments to respond to stakeholder comments that the new requirements were not consistent with standard industry product labeling requirements. In addition, amendments to ENV-A 907.02 are proposed which will clarify that CO2e and condensable total PM are exempt from the emission based fee provisions in Env-A 705. The rule took effect November 18, 2016.
- Regulated Toxic Air Pollutants Updates, Env-A 1401.03(f), 1402.02 intro, (a) & (j)-(q), 1450.01(b) DES is proposing changes to its lists of regulated toxic air pollutants (RTAPs) and ambient air limits. These updates are being made to incorporate 2013 and 2014 updates made by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists and the U.S. EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System. In addition, changes to the list of RTAPs are being made to reflect the latest scientific data and streamline the compliance determination and permitting process. Such changes include an exemption for cooling towers and the combustion of landfill gas, as well as broadening the exemption for publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities. The rule took effect December 30, 2016.
- Amendments to Solid Waste Operator Training and Certification Requirements, Env-Sw 407.03(d), 407.06(k), 1202.05, 1605.08(e), 1609, 1611.03(a)(2), 1611.04(a) intro, 1611.08 DES is proposing to amend its rules in Env-Sw 407 regarding facilities that operate under a permit-by-rule notification to (1) allow the owner/operator of a collection center for select recyclables to train workers in lieu of requiring all workers to obtain certification; and (2) clarify that certification under RSA 141-E and Env-A 1800 is required for workers at an asbestos waste holding facility in lieu of certification under RSA 149-M:6, XIII and Env-Sw 1600. DES is also proposing to amend its rules in Env-Sw 1600 regarding requirements for solid waste operator training/certification to, among other things, (1) extend the amount of time within which an individual can retake the owner/operator exam from 6 weeks to 8 weeks of the original test and (2) establish that a certification number will expire if not renewed within the statutory 90 day period. The rules took effect November 18, 2016.
- Water Use Registration and Reporting, Env-Wq 2102 DES is proposing to readopt and amend its rules regarding water use registration and reporting. Among other things, the rules will be amended to: (1) require any person required to register a water use to sign and date the filing and to certify that the information is true, complete and not misleading; (2) require hydropower facilities to report water use to DES annually; and (3) require water use data to be submitted using an electronic reporting system. Comments were due November 4, 2016.